He makes Ann Widdecombe look like a bleeding heart liberal. Donald Trump had barely finished his in-flight feed – chlorinated chicken washed down with bile, perhaps – and landed at Stansted Airport when he launched into a Twitter war against London mayor ‘Sadiq Kahn‘ (sic). Say what you like about the president, but he keeps on redefining assumptions about international diplomacy.
This morning I’ll be joining the protests in central London. Tens of thousands of us will come together. We are all pretty different, but there is one thing we have in common – we all reject the politics of hate and the politics of climate change denial.
Only last year 250,000 of us marched in London and another 150,000 joined protests around the UK to show Donald Trump that his determination to divide wasn’t welcome here. Judge him by his friends: Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage and Viktor Orban.
Trump must be the least welcome visitor to these shores since the Norman Conquest, yet he is only the third US president to be given the honour of a state visit during Queen Elizabeth II’s reign.
But that’s how desperately small the Conservatives have made Brexit Britain on the world stage: going cap in hand to such a president with our precious NHS on a plate may suit Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage, but it offends me and should offend all genuine patriots.
Trump has insulted the mayor of the capital hosting him, insulted the Duchess of Sussex just days before being hosted by the Queen, and insulted thousands of people working in the NHS by telling his ambassador to demand that American companies must be able to win contracts to run our hospitals. There is much I admire about America, but its health system isn’t one of them.
I marched against Brexit and now I will march against the same politics of division that President Trump personifies.
Our so-called government might be prepared to roll out the red carpet in a desperate attempt to curry favour with a president who’s willing to rip up international progress on the climate crisis, roll back women’s rights and demonise migrants. But for a Tory Party that prided itself on its royalism, it clearly doesn’t care that it has forced the Queen to host one of her most awkward visitors since Nicolae Ceausescu.
The Liberal Democrats are clear – we love our American neighbours, but not President Trump with his bile, his bigotry and his bloody chlorinated chicken.
Sir Ed Davey is the Lib Dem MP for Kingston and Surbiton, and a candidate to be the party’s next leader