President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrived in London for a
three-day visit in the UK.
Protests are planned in several UK cities during the president’s visit,
including in London, Manchester, Belfast, and Birmingham.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn – who is boycotting the state dinner – is due to
attend and speak at the London demonstration, a party spokesman has confirmed.
Earlier, he tweeted: “Tomorrow’s
protest against Donald Trump’s state visit is an opportunity to stand in
solidarity with those he’s attacked in America, around the world and in our own
country – including, just this morning, Sadiq Khan.”
Talks between President Trump and outgoing PM Theresa May will begin on June
4, with the pair expected to discuss climate change and Chinese technology firm
Donald Trump’s visit coincides with the commemorations for the 75th
anniversary of the D-Day landings, which the Queen, the US president and other
heads of state will attend at Portsmouth on June 5.
Crowds were gathered outside Buckingham Palace as President Trump and first
lady landed by helicopter shortly after midday.
The Queen presented Donald Trump with a first edition of Sir Winston
Churchill’s book The Second World War,
from 1959, with gilt decorations and hand-sewn bindings in the colors of the US
flag. He was also given a three-piece Duofold pen set decorated with an EIIR
emblem, in a design made exclusively for the monarch.
Melania Trump received a specially commissioned silver box with a
handcrafted enamel lid, decorated in royal blue with roses, thistles and
shamrocks to represent the ceiling of Buckingham Palace’s music room.
After the private lunch, the Queen showed the presidential couple American
artefacts and other items from the Royal Collection. In a nod to Donald Trump’s
Scottish heritage, he was shown a bolt of Harris tweed.
President Trump and the first lady met the Duke of York at Westminster
Abbey, where they laid a wreath at the grave of the unknown warrior. The
president signed the distinguished visitor’s book in his customary black marker
pen, describing the 13th Century church as a “special place”.
Their next stop was Clarence House, where they joined Prince Charles and the
Duchess of Cornwall for tea.
In the evening, the president and the first lady have joined a state banquet
at the Buckingham Palace.
He has praised the “treasured friendship” between the UK and US as
he joined the banquet.
The state banquet at Buckingham
Palace was also attended by Prince William and Kate Middleton.
The guests also included prominent Americans
living in Britain – Jeremy Corbyn, House of Commons Speaker John Bercow, and
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable all boycotted the state banquet.
The Queen said the countries were celebrating an alliance which had ensured the “safety and prosperity of both our peoples for decades”.
Conservatives have lost their majority in the UK’s snap general election that has resulted in a hung parliament.
With just a handful of seats left to declare, June 8 poll shows gains for the opposition Labour Party.
This is seen as a humiliation for PM Theresa May, who chose to call the election to try to strengthen her hand in talks with the EU on Brexit.
Labour leader and Theresa May’s main rival, Jeremy Corbyn, urged her to resign, but she said her party would “ensure” stability in the UK.
Image source Wikipedia
She said on June 9: “At this time more than anything else, this country needs a period of stability.
“And if, as the indications have shown and if this is correct that the Conservative Party has won the most seats and probably the most votes, then it will be incumbent on us to ensure we have that period of stability – and that is exactly what we will do.”
Theresa May – who had a small majority in the previous parliament – had called an early election to try to improve her negotiation positions on Brexit.
However, EU Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger told German radio he was unsure Brexit talks could start later this month as scheduled. He said discussions with a weak UK negotiating partner could lead to a poor outcome.
Jeremy Corbyn earlier said: “If there is a message from tonight’s results, it’s this: the prime minister called this election because she wanted a mandate. Well, the mandate she’s got is lost Conservative seats, lost votes, lost support and lost confidence.”
“I would have thought that’s enough to go, and make way for a government that will be truly representative of all of the people of this country,” he added.
Final election results are expected on June 9 at midday.
The biggest shock of the night so far has been Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg losing his seat to a Labour candidate. He was deputy prime minister of the UK from 2010 to 2015 in a coalition government with the Conservatives.
Former Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond was also defeated, losing his seat to a Conservative.
A total of 650 Westminster lawmakers are being elected, with about 45.8 million people entitled to vote. A party needs 326 seats to have an overall majority.
UK’s parliament has overwhelmingly agreed to let the government begin the country’s exit from the EU as it voted for the Brexit bill.
The bill was approved by 494 votes to 122, and now moves to the House of Lords.
Shadow business secretary Clive Lewis was one of 52 Labour lawmakers to defy party orders to back the bill and he resigned from the front bench.
PM Theresa May wants to trigger formal Brexit talks by the end of March.
The prime minister will do this by invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, but requires Parliament’s permission before doing so.
Photo Getty Image
Clive Lewis, who earlier said he was undecided on whether to support the EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, announced his resignation as parliament began voting for the final time.
He said he “cannot, in all good conscience, vote for something I believe will ultimately harm the city I have the honor to represent, love and call home”.
Leader Jeremy Corbyn said he understood the difficulties the vote presented some of his members of parliament but said they had been ordered to back the Article 50 because the party would not “block Brexit”.
Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, who missed last week’s initial vote on the bill, backed it this time.
The Labour rebellion was five lawmakers up on last week’s vote, while former Chancellor Ken Clarke was again the only Conservative to vote against the two-clause bill.
During the voting, SNP lawmakers were reprimanded by deputy speaker Lindsay Hoyle after they started singing Ode to Joy, the EU anthem.