Donald Trump has touched down in Britain for his first official visit and has already brushed off mass protests by saying: ‘I think they like me a lot in the UK – they’re great people’.
The US President landed at Stansted Airport on Air Force One with First Lady Melania and will meet the Prime Minister and Queen during a four-day red carpet visit.
America’s Commander-in-Chief has 1,000 of his own staff in the UK and a giant motorcade led by his bomb-proof Cadillac nicknamed ‘The Beast’ as well as multiple helicopters to fly him around.
Earlier today he gave an extraordinary press conference in Brussels after giving NATO leaders a bruising over funding, where he wrote off protesters and said Theresa May’s Brexit deal probably wasn’t what Britons voted for.
When asked about the threat of mass demonstrations he said: ‘I think it’s fine. A lot of people like me there. I think they agree with me on immigration. I think that’s why Brexit happened’.
Protesters have pledged to follow him wherever he goes in Britain and 10,000 police officers have been drafted in to protect him – the largest number deployed since the 2011 riots.
‘Stop Trump’ campaigners say he will face a ‘Wall of Sound’ outside all the landmarks he visits because supporters will bang pots and pans because they believe he is sexist and racist.
Despite not being an official state visit the Government is desperate to ensure the US leader feels he is being treated with the appropriate level of pomp and ceremony.
He will be treated to a Guard of Honour when he meets the Queen at Windsor Castle for tea tomorrow, there will also be a grand dinner at Blenheim Palace tonight – Winston Churchill’s ancestral seat – as well as a lunch with Theresa May at Chequers on Friday.
Tonight he will stay at the US Ambassador official residence in Regent’s Park, London, which has been surrounded by a ring of steel of new security fences and road barriers to prevent a terror attack.
On Saturday he will fly up to Scotland to play golf at one of his resorts and his son Eric landed in the family’s ‘Trump Force One’ private jet at Aberdeen this morning, before flying to Helsinki to meet Vladimir Putin on Monday.
Donald Trump speaks in Brussels after forcing NATO members to up their spending by $33bn ahead of his trip to Britain today and shrugged any fears he had about mass protests saying Britons ‘like me a lot’
His entourage also includes a giant convoy of cars including his bomb-proof vehicle ‘The Beast’, which is also bomb and chemical weapon-proof, which was also guarded by Britain’s top armed counter-terrorism unit, CTSFO
Armed police are patrolling a new security fence now surrounding the US Ambassador’s residence in Regent’s Park
Police are also guarding barriers installed at Blenheim Palace near Woodstock, Oxfordshire, where Donald Trump will dine this evening
Trump’s helicopter Marine One and a squadron from the US Marine Corps were waiting for him at Stansted today
Days of protests are planned for The Donald’s visit, including a march through central London tomorrow and everywhere he is visiting
Days of protests planned to welcome Donald Trump to Britain
Donald will be accompanied on the trip with Melania, pictured together yesterday, and the First Lady will be given a tour of London and attend a charity event
Protesters plan to follow Donald Trump everywhere he goes in Britain over the coming days.
This includes a ‘Stop Trump’ march through central London set to involve 70,000 people.
Here is the US President’s itinerary and the protests planned:
1pm: Stansted Airport as he arrives on Air Force One
3pm: At Winfield House, the US ambassador’s residence in London
7pm: Protests at Blenheim Palace
11am: Protest outside Chequers during Trump’s working lunch with the Prime Minister.
2pm: Tens of thousands will march from Portland Place to Trafalgar Square in central London
5pm: Outside Windsor Castle when he meets the Queen
All-day: Protests outside his Balmedie course in Aberdeenshire and at his Turnberry resort in
Today the US President described Britain as a ‘pretty hot spot right now with a lot of resignations’ and suggested his meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday could be easier.
And he made clear that he did not approve of the softer stance the PM has been advocating despite fury from many Tory MPs.
‘Brexit is Brexit, the people voted to break it up so I would imagine that is what they’ll do, but they might take a different route, I’m not sure that’s what people voted for,’ Mr Trump said, adding: ‘They’re great people – I just want them to be happy. The EU better be careful. I warned them. Immigration is taking over Europe,
He added it seemed as if the UK was ‘getting at least partially involved back with the European Union’.
‘I’d like to see them be able to work it out so it could go quickly,’ he said.
Protests will culminate in a 70,000-strong march through London from Portland Place to Trafalgar Square.
The ‘Stop Trump’ march is part of a wider ‘carnival of resistance’ across the UK while he is here.
Other protests – including several ‘family friendly’ gatherings – will take place at every place he will visit over the coming days.
The capital’s Mayor Sadiq Khan has allowed a group to fly a giant balloon showing Mr Trump as a baby in a nappy over the capital during his visit.
Nearly every force in England and Wales has contributed officers to help with the massive mobilisation, the biggest since the 2011 riots.
The US President arrives after giving NATO leaders a tongue-lashing in Brussels over defence spending and controversial comments about Britain being in ‘turmoil’.
He said he got along with Theresa May ‘very well’, but suggested he might make time during his UK visit to speak with his friend Boris Johnson, who has just rocked her Government by resigning as foreign secretary.
It was ‘up to the people’ whether or not they want Mrs May to stay as Prime Minister, he added.
The tight security surrounding the visit will attempt to avoid exposing Mr Trump to planned protests in central London.
His schedule involves a black tie dinner at Blenheim Palace tonight with US and UK business leaders and cabinet ministers, hosted by Mrs May.
Ahead of his arrival the PM said she would use the visit to ‘forge a strengthened, ambitious and future-proof trade partnership’ with the US after Brexit.
Donald Trump met up with Theresa May in Brussels yesterday and is heading to the UK for four days for an extraordinary and controversial visit
On Saturday he will fly up to Scotland to play golf at one of his resorts and his son Eric landed in the family’s ‘Trump Force One’ private jet at Aberdeen this morning (pictured)
Activists from Stand Up to Racism Scotland (SUTR) are already outside at Trump Turnberry resort in South Ayrshire, ahead of the US president’s arrival in the UK
Trump’s giant motorcade has been racing around London over the past few days (pictured) for his visit to Britain
This giant and controversial Trump balloon showing the world leader in a nappy will be flying over London this weekend
Mrs May said there is ‘no stronger alliance’ than the special relationship between the two countries and ‘there will be no alliance more important in the years ahead’.
Hailing the two countries ‘uniquely close partnership in the fight for democracy and global security’ she also pointed to our ‘unrivalled’ trade and investment relationship.
She added: ‘This week we have an opportunity to deepen this unique trading relationship and begin discussions about how we will forge a strengthened, ambitious and future-proof trade partnership.’
Yesterday Buckingham Palace announced details of the President’s meeting with Her Majesty.
The monarch will meet the American leader and First Lady Melania at a specially erected dais in the Quadrangle of the historic Berkshire royal residence on Friday afternoon.
A Guard of Honour, formed of the Coldstream Guards, will give a Royal Salute and the US national anthem will be played.
The Queen and Mr Trump will then inspect the Guard of Honour together, before watching a military march past.
The 1st battalion Coldstream Guards is one of the British Amy’s longest serving units.
As well as an operational role, they also undertake a ceremonial role as The Queen’s Guard, protecting the Royal Palaces.
Afterwards Mr and Mrs Trump will join the Queen for tea at the Castle in her private apartments. Given the opulence of their own residences, they are likely to marvel at the surprisingly frugal life the British sovereign leads.
No other members of the Royal Family will be involved in Friday’s visit, something of a surprise compared to the welcome other major political leaders have received.
The Queen (left this week) will meet the US president and First Lady Melania Trump for tea at Windsor
Two Boeing C17 Globemastet US Air Force planes delivered part of the Presidential Motorcade at Prestwick Airport, South Ayrshire, ahead of the visit of US President Donald Trump
Several black Secret Service 4x4s took to the road with a police escort as part of the huge security operation
The presidents motorcade – including enormous 4×4 vehicles – is pictured on the tarmac at Prestwick
Tomorrow morning Mr Trump and Mrs May will view a mock counter-terror exercise involving special forces units from both countries.
The joint exercise, at a secret military location, will involve the demonstration of hi-tech equipment used by the SAS and their US counterparts in joint operations.
The two leaders will also meet US officer cadets who are embedded with the UK military for part of their training.
Separately, Melania Trump and Philip May are due to meet military veterans and schoolchildren at an undisclosed location.
Among the firms attending are representatives of Diageo, the drinks company, McClaren and Arup and from the US Blackstone group and BlackRock asset management.
After the special forces exercise tomorrow, the two leaders will travel to Chequers for the summit which will also be attended by Jeremy H