London Mayor Sadiq Khan on Monday said he isn’t sure the United Kingdom should “roll out the red carpet” for President Donald Trump when he makes his first state visit in 2018.
“State visits are different from a normal visit,” Khan told CNN. “At a time when the President of the USA has policies that many in our country disagree with, I am not sure it is appropriate for our government to roll out the red carpet.”
Trump met with British Prime Minister Theresa May earlier in July at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, and announced his plans to travel to London despite protests and debate in the British Parliament about the appropriateness of inviting Trump amid backlash over his travel ban.
“We’ll work that out. We’ll be going to London,” Trump said after meeting with May.
The White House later announced without explanation that Trump’s visit will be delayed until next year.
The Sun, a British supermarket tabloid analogous to the New York Post, reported on Saturday that Trump told May in a private conversation that he will not visit until he is sure of a warm reception.
Citing a transcript of their conversation available to senior diplomats, the Sun reported that Trump asked May to “fix it” and said he was in “no rush” to make the state visit.
“It would make things a lot easier,” he said, according to the Sun. “When I know I’m going to get a better reception, I’ll come and not before.”
Trump harshly criticized Khan in June in the wake of an attack in London that killed seven people and wounded dozens more.
“At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!’” he tweeted.
A spokesperson for Khan fired back: “He has more important things to do than respond to Donald Trump’s ill-informed tweet that deliberately takes out of context his remarks.”
Khan, who is the first Muslim mayor of London, did not rule out meeting with Trump himself at some point.
“If you somehow think it is not possible to be a Muslim and a proud westerner I am happy to disabuse you of that idea, whether you are a reporter for CNN or Donald Trump,” he said. “If someone has views that I think can be changed I am ready to play my role.”