U.S. President Donald Trump has arrived in Britain on Monday to start a three-day long state visit.
Accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump and his entourage, the president was welcomed at Stansted Airport by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt amidst strict security measures.
Trump’s visit came days before Prime Minister Theresa May’s departure from the top office after failing in Brexit strategies.
The Queen will welcome Trump at the Buckingham Palace with an official ceremony and give a state banquet in the evening.
Visiting president is expected to hold talks with the outgoing May and they are expected to discuss post-Bexit UK-US trade relationship among other national and international issues.
Trump will visit Portsmouth during his visit to attend ceremonies marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
Trump’s visit has been described as the most controversial visit by a U.S. president to the U.K.
Protests have been organized for Tuesday in central London where tens of thousands of people are expected to join a rally in Trafalgar Square.
Trump has already caused controversy prior to his visit after making comments on Brexit – the U.K.’s top agenda item for the past three years – and on country’s domestic politics after giving an open support to former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson who is running for Conservative Party leadership.
Trump also angered pro-EU camp as he said Brexit party leader Nigel Farage should be holding the Brexit negotiations with the EU.
Also being criticized for calling the Duchess of Sussex, Megan Markle as “nasty” in an interview with a tabloid after learning she was critical about his leadership during his presidential election campaign, Trump is expected to see thousands of people protesting his visit.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan described Trump over the weekend as “just one of the most egregious examples of a growing global threat” and compared the language he had used to that of the “fascists of the 20th century.”
Trump had been criticized previously after retweeting anti-Muslim videos from a far-right group called Britain First, a move described by Theresa May as “wrong.”
The invitation by May was extended to Trump during her visit to the U.S. on Jan. 27, 2017, sparking criticism in the U.K. due to the president’s controversial travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries.
A petition calling on the British government to cancel the invitation was signed by over 1.85 million people last year. It said any official state visit should be axed “because it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty, the Queen”.
It also said Trump’s “well documented misogyny and vulgarity” disqualified him from meeting the Queen or other British royals.
The government responded to the parliamentary petition, saying it believed the American leader should “be extended the full courtesy” of an official reception.