Trump kicks off UK trip by calling London Mayor ‘loser’, Latest World News - The New Paper

Trump kicks off UK trip by calling London Mayor ‘loser’

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Mayor Sadiq Khan leads opposition against US President's visit, protesters set to fly a bigger blimp

LONDON: US President Donald Trump kicked off a state visit to Britain yesterday by branding London's mayor a "loser" before heading for lunch with Queen Elizabeth II, following delicate comments about Brexit.

Mr Trump tweeted that Mr Sadiq Khan, who has been highly critical of the red-carpet welcome laid on for Mr Trump, had done a "terrible job" running London.

The President called the mayor a "stone cold loser", adding: "Kahn (sic) reminds me very much of our very dumb and incompetent Mayor of NYC, (Bill) de Blasio, who has also done a terrible job - only half his height.

"In any event, I look forward to being a great friend to the United Kingdom."

Labour's Mr Khan has led opposition to the three-day visit, writing a newspaper article on Sunday in which he compared the US leader to European dictators from the 1930s and 1940s.

"Donald Trump is just one of the most egregious examples of a growing global threat," Mr Khan wrote.

Earlier, Mr Trump denied that he had called American-born Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle "nasty", even though he can clearly be heard saying so in a taped interview with the British tabloid The Sun.

Mr Trump tweeted on Sunday: "I never called Meghan Markle 'nasty'. Made up by the Fake News Media, and they got caught cold! Will @CNN, @nytimes and others apologize? Doubt it!"

On the tape, the interviewer points out that Ms Markle, who married Prince Harry in 2018, had been critical of Mr Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, saying "she'd move to Canada if you got elected; turned out she moved here".

"Well, a lot of people are moving here, so what can I say," Mr Trump replied.

"No, I didn't know that she was nasty."

All of which may have made things awkward when he was welcomed by the Queen and Prince Charles yesterday.

He and his wife Melania were at Buckingham Palace where they were treated to a guard of honour, a private lunch and a glittering banquet.

Huge protests are being organised in London, with organisers crowdfunding a bright orange "baby Trump" blimp depicting the US leader in a diaper - aiming for an even larger version than the one flown during his visit last year.

The leaders of Britain's main opposition parties and the Speaker of Parliament were also expected to boycott the state banquet last night.

In an effort to brush past the controversy, British Prime Minister Theresa May and Mr Trump are expected to emphasise the wider benefits of their old alliance when they hold talks at Downing Street today. - AFP