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Trump blames wrong president for ‘bad’ embassy property deal behind cancelled visit

  • 12/01/2018
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Trump blames wrong president for ‘bad’ embassy property deal behind cancelled visit
US president Donald Trump has blamed a “bad” property deal as the reason he ditched his visit to London next month – but identified the wrong culprit.

The president falsely blamed predecessor Barack Obama for making the decision to relocate the embassy from Grosvenor Square, however it was approved by president George W Bush.

Trump was expected to make his first visit to the UK to formally open the new embassy, which is located in the Nine Elms development on the South Bank of the Thames near Vauxhall.

However, in a tweet last night Trump confirmed that he will not be making the highly contentious trip.

“Reason I canceled 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!” he tweeted.

But many commentators believe Trump was instead put off by the prospect of significant protests during his visit with the potential for disruption, negative publicity and embarrassment as the real reason for his continuing avoidance of the UK.


Nightmare location

Christian Warman, director of prime central London estate agency Tedworth Property, defended the decision to move the embassy, suggesting it was “very sensible”, although he agreed Grosvenor Square was one of the best addresses in London.

“But the site was compromised, rather small and was a nightmare for people living and working in the area with the various security restrictions that had to be imposed,” he said.

“Now the Americans have a new, tailor-made embassy in one of London’s up-and-coming areas. The infrastructure going into Nine Elms is phenomenal. It is reasonable to assume that in 30 years’ time Nine Elms could be a very popular destination in its own right so it doesn’t look like a bad deal at all.

“The Americans are not going against the tide as there have been lots of other big sales in Grosvenor Square, such as the Canadians selling their high commission a few years ago. All-in-all it seems a very sensible decision,” he added.

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