British government officials and even American diplomats at the United States Embassy in London have raised doubts about US President Donald Trump’s claim about cancelling his visit to Britain in February, Bloomberg reported.
“I am not a big fan of the Obama administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for ‘peanuts’, only to build a new one in an off location for 1.2 billion dollars,” the president tweeted on Thursday. “Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!”
The embassy said in a statement that the security and safety standards at the current embassy building at Grosvenor Square in London could not be maintained without a major infrastructure investment. US officials surveyed more than 50 sites before zeroing in on the site in Vauxhall, which is south of the river Thames, for the new embassy.
The Grosvenor Square building has been sold to the Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Co, which plans to turn it into a luxury hotel, The Guardian reported.
British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Spokesperson Max Blain said Vauxhall is a vibrant part of London and “home to many businesses”, and not an “off location” as Trump had described.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan, however, said that the US president cancelled his trip in fear of protests. “Many Londoners have made it clear that Donald Trump is not welcome here while he is pursuing such a divisive agenda,” Khan said on Friday. “It seems he has finally got that message.”