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What the papers say: The president’s state visit and anti-Donald Trump protests

The president’s state visit makes headlines for a second day.

Donald Trump and Prince of Wales during the toast at Winfield House (Chris Jackson/PA)
Donald Trump and Prince of Wales during the toast at Winfield House (Chris Jackson/PA)

Day two of Donald Trump’s state visit saw a mass protest in London at which Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn spoke.

Now the papers have had their say about the Labour leadership’s decision to join the demonstrators.

The Times says Mr Corbyn’s decision to attend the protest after boycotting the state dinner “shows Labour’s puerile disregard for the national interest”.

“Such juvenile virtue-signalling is not just childish but damaging to the national interest,” the paper says.

“The consequences are already becoming clear. Mr Trump revealed that Mr Corbyn had requested a meeting but that he had, unsurprisingly, refused.

“Should Labour succeed in winning power, it will have to deal with a hostile president.”

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Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaking on stage at an anti-Trump protest in Whitehall, London (Ben Birchall/PA)

Writing in The Guardian, columnist Gaby Hinsliff says Mr Corbyn’s presence at a demonstration against a “right-wing” US president “feels like a complete no-brainer”.

But she adds: “We’re in the odd position where it would be madness for a potential incoming prime minister to address this rally and madness for Jeremy Corbyn not to, given that staying away would be a betrayal of everything Labour members elected him to do and be.

“If a breach between Britain and America is coming then it will, of course, be Trump’s fault for pushing his allies to breaking point. Blame the guy whose behaviour inspires mass protests, not the one leading them.”

In volatile times, the national interest in nurturing good relations with our strongest ally is plain for everyone to see

The Daily Mail criticises the protesters and Labour, pointing out they were exercising rights of freedom fought for on D-Day – which the president is in Britain to commemorate.

The paper says: “Yes, the President has myriad faults. But, terrifyingly, Labour could be in power within months.

“In volatile times, the national interest in nurturing good relations with our strongest ally is plain for everyone to see.”

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US President Donald Trump waits to greet the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall outside Winfield House (Chris Jackson/PA)

Focusing on Mr Trump’s comments on the NHS, the Daily Mirror labels the President “the tyrannical liar from the USA”.

“Demanding the National Health Service be up for grabs in any future British-US trade pact explains why Donald Trump enthusiastically backs Brexit,” the paper says.

“The President is salivating over a weakened UK desperate for a deal with Washington and anticipating rich pickings for healthcare corporations on his side of the Atlantic.”

But the Daily Telegraph says Mr Corbyn’s behaviour “will appal voters”.

“Jeremy Corbyn showed once again that he is not a political leader, but an agitprop campaigner, happier on the fringes of politics, denouncing the
enemies of the Left, while consorting with the enemies of his own country,” the paper says.

“But Mr Trump also had some uncomfortable home truths for Tory leadership candidates anxious to strike a trade deal with the US after Brexit.”

The Daily Express says Mr Corbyn was a “hypocrite” for requesting a meeting with Mr Trump.

“Clearly he wanted to fool the British public that he was trying one thing but actually wanted to do the opposite,” the paper says.

“Good on Mr Trump for refusing to meet Corbyn. But the Labour leader’s attitude just underlines a distasteful trend in British politics with the Left screaming down anyone who is patriotic.”

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People at an anti-Trump protest in Whitehall, London, (Ben Birchall/PA)

The Sun says Mr Corbyn is a “career protester, only truly at home when ranting to cheering socialists as angry and dim as he is”.

“(Mr Corbyn) abuses the President to excite his fanbase, with no regard for the relationship between our great nations, so vital to the free world,” the paper says.

“Trump is right: Corbyn is a “negative force” for Britain. We pray voters never have to find it out the hard way.”

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