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Trump Refuses to Visit UK Until 2018

President Donald Trump’s ceremonial visit to the UK will not take place until 2018, according to Sky News, which cited senior British officials.

Trump accepted an invitation from Queen Elizabeth II for a state visit shortly after his inauguration in January. British Prime Minister Theresa May said in a joint news conference at the White House in January the Queen was “delighted that the president has accepted that invitation.”

But the prospect of Trump receiving a ceremonial welcome by the Queen stirred controversy in the UK. Nearly two million British citizens signed a petition saying Trump’s invitation to visit their country should be rescinded.

Tensions escalated further following the June 3 terror attack on London Bridge.

The day after the attack, Trump called out London Mayor Sadiq Khan on Twitter for saying citizens have “no reason to be alarmed.”

But Trump took Khan’s comment out of context. The London mayor said citizens shouldn’t be alarmed due to the increased police presence on the streets of the city.

Khan called for Trump’s invitation to be revoked following the incident.

“I don’t think we should roll out the red carpet to the president of the USA in the circumstances where his policies go against everything we stand for,” Khan said.

The next week, Tump reportedly told May in a phone call he did not want to visit the UK until the British public supports his presence, signifying he was worried about the image of him being met by large-scale protests.

The White House denied reports that Trump had concerns about visiting the UK, saying the administration was looking forward to working out a “mutually acceptable date” with the British government.

A date for Trump’s visit was expected to be confirmed in the Queen’s Speech in June, but the speech came and went with no mention of it.

Trump was rumored to be making an unannounced visit to the UK after the G20 summit, most likely to one of the golf courses he owns, but White House press secretary Sean Spicer dismissed those reports last Monday.

“While he looks forward to visiting the UK, it will not be in the next two weeks,” Spicer said.

During his 50-minute meeting with May during the G20, Trump confirmed he “will be going to London,” but when asked by a reporter when he would be visiting, he replied, “We’ll work that out.”

A spokesman for May made similar comments regarding Trump’s upcoming visit.

“An invitation has been extended and accepted. The visit wasn’t mentioned in the Queen’s Speech because a date hasn’t been fixed yet,” the spokesman said.