Donald Trump’s state visit to UK may be moved from London to Brexit heartland amid security concerns


Donald Trump’s controversial state visit to Britain could move from London to the Midlands to allow the US President to address a mass rally and raise money for Armed Forces veterans.

Ministers also say the trip could be delayed from June to July to coincide with Mr Trump’s visit to the G20 summit of developed nations in Hamburg.

Trump advisers and senior Foreign Office figures have discussed how to save the controversial visit.One idea, which has been suggested to the White House, is for President Trump to address a rally in Birmingham where the audience would pay to enter, with profits going to the Royal British Legion.

Venues such as the National Exhibition Centre are being considered in the hope that people outside London will be more receptive to the President and the event would be easier to police.

It is felt that a gathering in the Brexit heartland might offer President Trump a more sympathetic hearing as a supporter of Britain out of Europe.

One source close to the president said: “It would be his biggest rally with 85,000 people coming together to celebrate the US-UK special relationship. If he is not speaking to the Houses of Parliament, let’s go to the people. The only person who gets screwed is the Speaker of the House of Commons.”

India’s premier Narendra Modi set a precedent when he addressed 60,000 people at Wembley Stadium in 2015. Then Prime Minister David Cameron walked on to the stage with Mr Modi to huge cheers from the gathered crowd.

Under plans for the Trump rally, cheerleaders from America’s National Football League would perform.

Last week, Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan Police chief, said he had concerns about the state visit given the level of protests expected.

A large coalition of 28 left wing groups – including the Communist Party of Great Britain, the Egyptian revolution committee and the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign – is meeting with Labour Party representatives to plan the opposition to President Trump.

Lindsey German, speaking for the Stand Up to Trump movement, told The Sunday Telegraph the protests would be the biggest since 300,000 people came out to demonstrate against George W Bush’s UK visit in 2003.

She said: “If he goes to Balmoral there will be a big protest there, if he goes to Windsor there will be protests there. There are millions of people in this country who don’t want him to come.”