The leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party said Friday he has declined an invitation to attend the state dinner during U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit in June.
The head of the left-wing party, Jeremy Corbyn, said he would be happy to meet with Trump but thinks “maintaining an important relationship with the United States does not require the pomp and ceremony of a state visit.”
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The Conservative government of Prime Minister Theresa May “should not be rolling out the red carpet for a state visit to honor a president who rips up vital international treaties, backs climate change denial and uses racist and misogynist rhetoric,” Corbyn said.
Vince Cable, leader of the centrist Liberal Democrats, also turned down a seat at the dinner with Trump.
Trump’s state visit is scheduled for June 3-5, almost 2 and a half years after May first extended an invitation. The trip was repeatedly postponed amid concerns about anti-Trump protests and Britain’s extended Brexit crisis.
Trump will be only the third American president, after George W. Bush and Barack Obama, to receive the full honors that come with a state visit. Typical features include ceremonial greetings, a horse-drawn carriage ride and a banquet with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.
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The president also is scheduled to attend a ceremony in the southern England naval city of Portsmouth to mark the 75th anniversary of the Allies D-Day landings in France during World War II.