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Johnson slams 'pompous popinjay' Trump critics

Sky News logo Sky News 12/01/2018
Boris Johnson and Donald Trump © Getty Boris Johnson and Donald Trump

Boris Johnson has tackled critics of US President Donald Trump, calling them "puffed up pompous popinjays".

The Foreign Secretary said people who welcomed news the US leader would not visit Britain to open a new embassy were "determined to put" a "crucial relationship at risk".

(Related video provided by Reuters)

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He was responding after London mayor Sadiq Khan said Mr Trump had "got the message" that people in the capital "find his policies and actions the polar opposite of our city's values".

Mr Johnson tweeted on Friday morning: "The US is the biggest single investor in the UK - yet Khan & Corbyn seem determined to put this crucial relationship at risk. We will not allow US-UK relations to be endangered by some puffed up pompous popinjay in City Hall."

A popinjay is a type of parrot, sometimes used as an insult to describe someone vain or who behaves extravagantly.

Popinjay /parrot © Getty Popinjay /parrot Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has not publicly commented on Mr Trump's cancelled visit.

Downing Street later said the "strong and deep" partnership between Britain and the US "will endure".

Asked if the Prime Minister shared the President's view of south London, Theresa May's spokesman replied: "It is a vibrant and important part of London, home to many businesses."

Local Labour MP Marsha De Cordova told Sky News she was "pleased" Mr Trump would not be travelling to the UK because he was "really scared" of being met by a peaceful protest made up of hundreds of thousands of people.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan © Sky News Screen Grab London Mayor Sadiq Khan Mr Trump's announcement came in a tweet posted just before midnight Eastern Time (5am GMT).

He wrote: "Reason I cancelled my trip to London is that I am not a big fan of the Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for 'peanuts,' only to build a new one in an off location for 1.2 billion dollars. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO."

The new US Embassy © Getty The new US Embassy Mr Trump had been expected to visit the new £750m ($1bn) home for American diplomats on the banks of the River Thames as early as next month.

The new Nine Elms site, near Battersea in London, is due to open on 16 January.

Despite Mr Trump blaming his predecessor for moving the embassy from Grosvenor Square, its home for 80 years, it was actually initiated by the George W Bush administration.

A post on the embassy's website dated 8 October 2008 - just under a month before Mr Obama's election - revealed the plan.

It said: "The U.S. State Department today signed a conditional agreement with the real estate developer Ballymore to acquire a site in the Nine Elms Opportunity Area in Wandsworth for the construction of a new Embassy."

(Related Slideshow provided by USA TODAY)


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