As Donald Trump prepares to arrive in the UK, supporters and those opposed to him are clashing over the planned protests.
Marches have been organised by the Stop Trump Coalition, Women’s March London, Campaign Against Climate Change the People’s Assembly and War on Want among others, and a giant ‘Trump Baby’ blimp will fly over Parliament Square.
Drew Liquerman, a spokesman for Republicans Overseas, told Julia Hartley-Brewer on the talkRADIO breakfast show that “the protesters are not missing a chance to embarrass themselves on the world stage”.
“Flying ridiculous balloons… the vast majority of the protesters are far-left activists who support Jeremy Corbyn,” he added.
He said that Trump’s visit was about improving the UK and US’s relationship “culturally, economically, in every respect possible”.
Protests could 'push UK away from EU'
“It’s not about Donald Trump, it’s not about Theresa May, it’s not about Sadiq Khan, it shouldn’t be about politicians,” said Mr Liquerman.
He added that he thought the protests were ill-timed as the UK prepares the leave the EU.
“It gives off the hint that this is an attempt to drive a wedge between the US and UK, at a time the UK is leaving the EU, it’s forcing the UK back to closer ties with the EU because they’ll be pushed away from the US,” he said.
He also criticised Labour-affiliated supporters of the protests.
“It’s quite nefarious, the groups backing these protests and paying for the signs, large Labour groups,” he said.
The Stop Trump Coalition has been endorsed by several Labour MPs including Shabana Mahmood, Ed Miliband, Tulip Siddiq, Claude Moraes, Rushanara Ali, David Lammy, Clive Lewis and Melanie Onn, as well as the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas, Plaid Cymru’s Leanne Wood and Hywel Williams and former Lib Dem leader Tim Farron.
It is also supported by Labour-affiliated unions, as is the People’s Assembly, but there is no information on which organisations specifically have donated money to the cause.
'He only wants to talk about a trade deal'
Asad Rahman, one of the organisers of the Together Against Trump march put on by anti-poverty charity War On Want, argued that Trump was visiting only to discuss a trade that would ultimately harm the UK.
“What Donald Trump is coming here to talk about is a trade deal. We know exactly what that entails, he wants America first and only first,” said Mr Rahman.
“A trade deal that’s about weaker regulations on food and things we don’t want, chlorinated chicken and beef, he wants to weaken our environmental standards as much as he’s ripping up those same standards in the United States.”
Trump will arrive in the UK this evening to have dinner at Blenheim Palace with a group of business leaders, before meeting the Prime Minister and the Queen tomorrow.