Not invited to event during UK visit after saying Trump ‘not in same class’ as Obama
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has not been invited to the state banquet held in Donald Trump’s honor during his official UK visit in June after saying that the president is “not in the same class“ as Barack Obama.
The liberal mayor of London is not on the guest list for the white-tie dinner hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace in what appears to be an official snub from the highest levels.
Khan has feuded with Trump since before either of them took office and was accused of fanning the flames of anti-Trump protests during last year’s presidential visit.
The mayor’s predecessor Boris Johnson did attend the state banquet for then-President Barack Obama in 2011, making the snub for Mr. Khan a break with recent precedent.
Following news of his public rejection, Khan insists that he did not want to go anyway, echoing the stance of the Labour Party’s socialist leader Jeremy Corbyn – who is boycotting the dinner in protest.
Speaking about the state visit, Mr. Khan said in a Saturday statement: “History tells us only two presidents have had a state visit.
“I think President Trump is certainly not in the same class as those two.”
Trump’s two immediate predecessors, Barack Obama and George W. Bush, are the only other presidents who have been granted a state visit to the UK.
According to the Daily Mail, Khan also blasted the American leader for his treatment of women, saying it gives a “green light” to sex pests and added he would not attend a banquet even if he was invited.
The mayor’s spokesman told Newsweek last week that Mr. Khan had not been invited.
The President has yet to respond to the latest broadside in a furious war of words which began in 2015 when Mr. Trump was running for the Republican nomination.
Trump previously described parts of London as “so radicalized the police are afraid for their lives.”
Mr. Khan fired back, saying the Republican “doesn’t have a clue about London” and calling him “divisive and dangerous.”
In May 2016, Mr. Khan won the London mayoral election just days after Mr. Trump had effectively secured the Republican nomination.
The Labour candidate’s victory made him the first Muslim mayor of a major capital in Western Europe – prompting speculation over whether Mr. Trump would allow him into America.
The Republican said there would “always be exceptions” to his proposed ban but a furious Mr. Khan dismissed his offer, slamming his “ignorant view of Islam.”
The row flared up again in 2017 when the President slammed Mr. Khan’s response to the London Bridge terror attack which killed seven people.
Mr. Khan called his comments “ill-informed.”
Pathetic excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his “no reason to be alarmed” statement. MSM is working hard to sell it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2017
Last year the London mayor allowed a giant blimp depicting Mr. Trump as a baby to fly in Parliament Square during the President’s working visit.
Shortly before his visit, Trump attacked the Labour politician again in a newspaper interview, saying he had done a “very bad job on terrorism.”
Anti-Trump protesters have vowed to revive the baby blimp during this year’s three-day visit.
Labour leader Mr. Corbyn has said he will not attend the banquet either.
He said last month that “maintaining an important relationship with the United States does not require the pomp and ceremony of a state visit.”
Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable also turned down a place at the dinner, saying the invitation to Mr. Trump was “inappropriate.”
In 2011, then-London mayor Boris Johnson attended the banquet for Mr. Obama with his now estranged wife, Marina.
Then-Labour leader Ed Miliband also attended, along with Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, who was in government at the time.
Ken Livingstone, who was London mayor when George W. Bush visited in 2003, said on the eve of the President’s visit that Mr. Bush was the “greatest threat to life on this planet.”
President Trump will hold bilateral talks with UK Primisiter Theresa May at Downing Street during the visit from June 3-5.
He will also take part in commemorations in Portsmouth marking the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.