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06th Jul 2018

Donald Trump will almost entirely avoid London during his UK visit

James Dawson

He will meet Theresa May and the Queen away from London

Donald Trump’s planned four-day visit to the UK that begins next week will almost entirely avoid London, according to an itinerary revealed today.

The president will not travel to Downing Street to meet the prime minister on arrival in the country and will instead avoid the capital for the majority of his stay.

The move is likely to enrage critics of the president, who are planning a series of protests in London over the duration of his visit, which will see him meet Theresa May and the Queen among others.

He will only spend a single night in London on Thursday – the day he arrives in the country and attends a gala dinner at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire – staying at the US ambassador’s official residence in Regent’s Park, Winfield House.

From there he will travel to hold talks with the prime minister at her Chequers country retreat in Buckinghamshire on Friday, before meeting the Queen at Windsor Castle.

He will then spend the weekend in Scotland, where he owns two golf courses at Menie in Aberdeenshire and Trump Turnberry in Ayrshire.

A number of protests have been planned for the president’s stay in the country, with the largest march due to be held in London next Friday. Many will see Trumps avoidance of the capital as proof he is trying to keep away from dissent, however, the US ambassador to the UK, Woody Johnson, denied this.

“No, the president is not avoiding anything,” he told a press briefing. “The president is merely trying to get as impactful a trip as he can get in a 24-hour period.” Trump will be using London as a base during his visit, Johnson said.

May’s spokesperson also denied that the president was avoiding Downing Street to stay away from protests.

“Prime ministers frequently make use of Chequers for meetings with foreign leaders,” she said. “It offers a more informal setting for important bilateral discussions. We’re looking forward to making sure the president has a chance to see and experience the UK beyond London and the south-east.

“We are a free and open democracy, and we believe in the right to peaceful protest. But I would also say that I think the majority of British people understand the importance of the UK-US alliance.”