Tories: No plans to cancel Trump visit despite retweets

Amber Rudd said the visit would go ahead. Picture; PA
Amber Rudd said the visit would go ahead. Picture; PA
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Plans for a state visit by President Donald Trump to the UK have not been cancelled in the wake of his retweeting of far-right videos, a senior Cabinet minister has indicated.

The Government is facing growing demands for the invitation to be withdrawn after tweets from the president which included a direct rebuke to Prime Minister Theresa May.

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London Mayor Sadiq Khan said Mrs May should cancel the visit and demand an apology on behalf of the British people from the president, while Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable branded Mr Trump an “evil racist” who should not be given the honour of a state visit.

But responding in the House of Commons to a string of demands for the visit would be called off, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said only: “The invitation for the visit has been extended and accepted but the dates and precise arrangements have yet to be agreed.”

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Ms Rudd repeated Downing Street’s statement that Mr Trump was “wrong” to spread the messages of far-right group Britain First on Twitter.

But the Home Secretary urged critics of the president to remember the importance of the trans-Atlantic alliance to Britain when voicing their concerns.

Ms Rudd denounced Britain First as “an extremist organisation which seeks to divide communities through their use of hateful narratives which spread lies and stoke tensions”.

She added: “President Donald Trump was wrong to retweet videos posted by the far-right group Britain First.”