Trump to meet May on day two of state visit

Donald Trump is to meet Prime Minister Theresa May for "substantial" talks on the second day of the US president's three-day state visit to the UK. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt will be among the senior ministers present at the talks, where issues such as climate change will be discussed...


Donald Trump is to meet Prime Minister Theresa May for "substantial" talks on the second day of the US president's three-day state visit to the UK.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt will be among the senior ministers present at the talks, where issues such as climate change will be discussed.

It comes as large-scale protests are planned in several UK cities, including a demonstration in Trafalgar Square.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is due to address protesters at the London rally.

Mr Trump praised the "eternal friendship" between the UK and US during a state banquet at Buckingham Palace at the end of the first day of his trip.

The Queen said the countries were celebrating an alliance which had ensured the "safety and prosperity of both our peoples for decades".

Earlier on Monday, the US president reignited his political feud with the mayor of London, calling Sadiq Khan a "stone cold loser" just before landing on UK soil.

Christopher Ruddy, chief executive of US media company Newsmax Media and a friend and confidant of Mr Trump's, told the Today programme he and the rest of Mr Trump's friends and family were "so impressed" with the banquet on Monday evening.

"This is a president that loves brands - and the Queen has the greatest brand in the world," Mr Ruddy said. "He recognises her importance for America, for the West, how she's unified Britain for all of these years."

Mr Ruddy laughed off questions about protesters who believe Mr Trump is racist. He said the president was "super inclusive", "welcomes black people" to his various clubs in the US, and that the allegations were just "personal attacks".

Mr Trump and Mrs May will start Tuesday by co-hosting a breakfast meeting of British and American business leaders at St James's Palace in a bid to boost trade links.

The Duke of York, Chancellor Phillip Hammond, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the president's daughter Ivanka Trump are also expected to attend.

Mrs May, who will stand down as Tory leader on Friday, will then hold talks with the US president in Downing Street, when they are expected to discuss a range of issues on which they hold differing views.

The prime minister will raise the issue of climate change, with a government spokesman again saying on Monday the UK was "disappointed by the US decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement in 2017".

The two leaders are also expected to discuss Huawei. The US has blacklisted the Chinese firm for security reasons, while the UK may allow it to supply "non-core" components for its 5G network.

Downing Street said there was nothing unusual in the pair not having a formal one-to-one meeting.

The PM's official spokesman said it was "always going to be the case" that the meeting in the Cabinet Room at No 10 would involve the delegations from the two sides rather than just the leaders and there would be "substantial bilateral discussions".

Analysis: A barometer of political power
By Laura Kuenssberg, BBC political editor

Theresa May, the careful politician who gradually inched her way upwards through the machine of the political party she loves and hoped to protect.

Donald Trump, who relishes baiting those who disagree with him, and taunting the media. Mrs May, who gives the impression she would rather be left alone with her red boxes.

This time that difference is all the greater because the prime minister is on her way out of the door, while the president seeks another term in office.

They will have some discussions on Tuesday certainly. No 10 is expected to urge the White House to take climate change more seriously, and to think carefully about its approach to Iran.

In the other direction, expect the US to raise concerns over involving the Chinese telecoms firm Huawei in developing British infrastructure and, of course, the tentative conversations there have already been about trading after Brexit are likely to continue.

But don't expect dramatic joint announcements on Tuesday.

If the political outcomes are a barometer of power, the truth is that Theresa May's is fading - with the US and Donald Trump having at least half an eye on who is coming next.

Thousands of people are expected to join protests against Mr Trump's visit on Tuesday.

A "national demonstration" in London's Trafalgar Square will start at 11:00 BST, while protests are also planned in Birmingham, Stoke, Sheffield, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Chester, Leicester, Oxford and Exeter.

Organisers have called for a carnival atmosphere, but a huge police operation is taking place in central London to prevent any disruption to Mr Trump's trip.

Alex Kenny, who will join the Stand Up To Trump protest in the capital, told BBC Breakfast that Mr Trump's views are "destabilising and polarising the world".

"All people representing different strands today are coming together to show people in America that we do stand in opposition - not just to the person, but the ideas and the kind of world view he wants to put forward," he said.

"We can't let this kind of visit go unnoticed or uncommented on," he added.

Labour leader Mr Corbyn - who boycotted the state dinner - is due to address the London rally, where he will be joined by members of other political parties including the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party.

Mr Corbyn tweeted that the protest was "an opportunity to stand in solidarity with those [Mr Trump has] attacked in America, around the world and in our own country" including Sadiq Khan.

Mr Trump's tweet on Monday about Mr Khan accused him of doing a "terrible job" as mayor, adding that he reminded him of "our very dumb and incompetent" New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Mr De Blasio responded by saying that the attack on Mr Khan was "extreme" even for Mr Trump.

He told the BBC's Newsnight programme: "To attack a major leader of an allied country - there is no question in my mind this was beyond the pale in so many ways."

Mr De Blasio also warned Conservative Party leadership candidates to "stay away" from Mr Trump, saying that seeking his approval was a mistake.

Before the visit, the president told the Sun newspaper he was backing Boris Johnson to be the next UK prime minister.

The opening day of Mr Trump's state visit culminated in the splendour of a state banquet at Buckingham Palace.

The president used his speech to praise the courage of the British people during World War Two and called the Queen a "great, great woman".

Earlier in the day he had been welcomed by the Queen and had lunch at Buckingham Palace with senior royals.

The president and first lady then visited Westminster Abbey, where they were met by the Duke of York, before having tea at Clarence House with the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

The president's visit coincides with the commemorations for the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, which the Queen, Mr Trump and other heads of state will attend at Portsmouth on Wednesday.

Source: BBC



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