British Prime Minister Theresa May is under fire for putting the Queen in a “difficult position” after inviting President Donald Trump to the UK for a state visit, complete with all the pomp and ceremony that would usually entail.
Former Foreign Office boss Lord Ricketts, who was the top mandarin at the department during Gordon Brown’s time as Prime Minister, said he could not understand why Mr Trump should be deemed “specially deserving” of a state visit so soon into his term of office when his predecessors had to wait years until they were afforded the honour. He said it would be best if the full state visit was delayed but he was offered a less high profile political trip to Britain instead.
His comments come as Buckingham Palace is said to becoming increasing uncomfortable with Number 10’s handling of the issue. Sources close to the palace say that the Queen only afforded the invitation on the advice of Mrs May, who is keen to forge close relationships with America as Britain heads for Brexit.
There are worries that the Queen could be caught up in the controversy as protesters have taken to the streets across America and other major cities throughout the globe, including London, in protest at President Trump’s so-called Muslim ban.
A cross party conglomerate of senior Conservative and Labour MPs is now calling on Mrs May to remove the invitation. However, at a press conference in Dublin yesterday, Mrs May told reporters that President Trump was still invited. She announced that he would be heading to Britain for a state visit while she visited President Trump at the White House last week. Mrs May was the first world leader to meet with President Trump face to face following his inauguration as the leader of the free world.