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Trump’s forthcoming state visit prompts mixed reaction

Some newspapers have pointed out that the visit will coincide with the anniversary of the D-Day landings.

Prime Minister Theresa May meets US President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House after his inauguration in 2017 (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Prime Minister Theresa May meets US President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House after his inauguration in 2017 (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

US president Donald Trump’s long-awaited state visit to the UK in June features heavily in Wednesday’s papers.

The visit, coinciding with the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, was hailed as an opportunity to “reaffirm the steadfast and special relationship” between the UK and US by Prime Minister Theresa May.

But campaigners have said they will hold protests against the visit, while shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry said the president had “systematically assaulted all the shared values that unite our two countries”.

Writing in the Daily Mail, columnist Robert Hardman said the announcement was met with “the usual preachy chorus from the perpetually offended”.

He added: “The mere prospect of the democratically elected leader of our greatest ally setting foot on British soil had kickstarted mass hysteria masquerading as high-minded piety.

“It could be summed up thus: Donald Trump is not nice, so nice people like us cannot possibly tolerate his presence.

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The infamous ‘Baby Trump’ protest balloon (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

“All these people have clearly missed the point. Mr Trump is not here for sightseeing and royal glad-handing. He is in Europe for the 75th anniversary of D-Day.”

The Daily Mirror takes a different tone, calling Mr Trump “the worst US president in living memory” but adding that the “president must be greeted formally with politeness, but this should not extend to servility”.

The paper’s leader said: “Britain and Europe owe a great debt to US armed forces who, in 1944, fought and died in the landings which liberated continental Europe from the tyranny of Nazi rule.

“Sadly the draft dodger in the White House is a poor representative of brave, heroic men.”

The Daily Telegraph’s leader column takes aim at what it calls the “juvenile Left” who may look to “disrupt the occasion” of Mr Trump visiting the country.

It said: “Arguably, the full pomp and circumstance of a state visit was too readily promised by Theresa May on her first trip to meet Mr Trump after his inauguration.

“But having been promised by Mrs May, it would have been an insult not to confirm the offer. It is fitting that it will coincide with D-Day commemorations both here and in France, which should serve to remind critics of Mr Trump that the office transcends the individual.

“Some people will never be reconciled to this particular president, though, as he might well win a second term, they had better get used to him.

“One thing is clear: the British national interest is best served by underpinning this country’s most important alliance through a state visit.”

PA

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