President Donald Trump and Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May have pushed back his official state visit to the United Kingdom to allow the real estate mogul to dodge protests over his administration's right-wing policies, new reporting reveals.
Originally set for June, the visit had sparked uproar because of Trump's now-halted Muslim ban, and a petition to stop the state visit referencing Trump's "well documented misogyny and vulgarity" has gathered the signatures of over 1.8 million Britons.
The U.K.'s Sun, which first reported on the delay, writes:
A senior [U.K.] government source said: "Trump still really wants to come this year, but he wants the heat to die down a bit first.
The two made the decision after Trump told May about his worries in a phone call two weeks ago, the news outlet writes.
The U.K.'s Independent adds:
Trump's election and resulting policies have received widespread criticism from politicians, who have threatened to try and ban him from parliament entirely. The decision to invite the President to the U.K. has also been greeted by some of the largest street protests in recent years, and activists have promised to protest any trip that Mr. Trump does eventually make.
The Sun reports that the visit has now been provisionally scheduled for October 5 to 8, a time when the Parliament will be in recess. Trump would therefore not have to face any Members of Parliament protesting the visit.
For the Stop Trump Coalition, the delay indicates the two leaders "are running scared"—and that the protests work.
"Trump's visit will be delayed until at least October to 'let the heat die down.' But we promise that it's only going to get hotter," the coalition said in a statement Wednesday. "The opposition to this state visit, and to Trump's policies, is growing every day. Whether he comes in Spring or Autumn, or to London, Birmingham, or Scotland, we will meet him in huge numbers to say that the politics of hate and prejudice are not welcome here."
On top that, the coalition says, the prime minister must herself stop pushing policies that echo those of the Trump.
"Theresa May has badly miscalculated. The British people don't want this racist, misogynist billionaire anywhere near them. At the same time as showing our support to all the people in the U.S. battling this dangerous president, we will also show our own Prime Minister that she has no mandate to draw us closer to Trump or the other extreme right-wing leaders she is currently courting," the group continued.
"This was never just about the state visit," the statement reads. "Every day the British government gets closer to Trump in its policies—from refusing to guarantee the basic rights of EU migrants, to ending the Dubs Amendment scheme for child refugees. We urge people to join a growing movement that fights for the rights of migrants and minorities—for an inclusive and democratic society."