British Republicans to show support for Donald Trump UK visit

The legacy of Donald Trump will outlive protests, including a giant baby blimp caricature, against his first visit to the UK, a Republican in London has said.

US president Donald Trump alongside Prime Minister Theresa May. Picture: AP Photo/Markus Schreiber
US president Donald Trump alongside Prime Minister Theresa May. Picture: AP Photo/Markus Schreiber

As anti-Trump activists demonstrate during the US president’s visit, supporters will gather in the British capital to welcome him to Britain.

The Republicans Overseas UK group expects up to 100 people to attend its event on Friday evening to show there are people who are happy about the trip, chairwoman Sarah Elliott said.

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“We want the world to know that there are people here in the UK that are very happy the president is visiting,” she said.

The small gathering at a location to be confirmed in London – and at which Mr Trump is not expected to attend – is likely to be easily outnumbered by protesters involved in a series of demonstrations organised for the coming days, including the flying of a 20ft-high Trump inflatable near Parliament.

But the scale of protest comes as no surprise and is unlikely to annoy the president, Ms Elliott said.

“It’s typical, but honestly Donald Trump’s legacy will outlive any big orange balloon and the matters that will be discussed at Chequers and currently in Brussels are much more important and will have a much longer effect than any day rally,” she said.

“And quite frankly, the president is used to it. Everywhere he goes there are protests, so I don’t think it really makes a big impression on him.”

The 36-year-old, who described Mr Trump’s rhetoric as not “entirely to my taste”, said she believes he is a proud American nationalist who has generally stuck to the pledges he made to voters.

She said: “I think he means to put America first and I think he’s been doing that and he’s been very consistent with his campaign promises.”

Equally, she said people have a right to protest against policies they do not agree with.

Ms Elliott, who has lived in London for five years, appealed to anyone out demonstrating to “respectfully disagree” after a warning from the US embassy in London of potential violence.

She said: “It is a concern. We are living in very volatile times and so I hope nothing gets out of hand and I hope people can act civilly.

“One thing that really is distressing to me is how uncivil people are when you have a different political opinion and I don’t think that’s very healthy for society and for democracy.”

Ms Elliott, who is originally from Virginia, said she is hopeful there could be a state visit by Mr Trump next year.