U.S. President Donald Trump has told the world he won’t visit London to officially open the new U.S. embassy as it is “off location” and a “bad deal.”
The U.S. Embassy in London moved to its new location in Nine Elms, an area in south London, in December 2017 and will be formally opened in February. It is understood that in Trump’s absence the U.S. secretary of state Rex Tillerson will now cut the ribbon.
Taking to Twitter, Trump said he thought the Obama administration had sold “perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for peanuts”, and he slammed the estimated $1.2 billion cost of the new project.
Following the tweet, many have pointed out that the original decision to move the Embassy away from its Mayfair location was actually during the final weeks of the George W. Bush presidency in 2008.
At the time, U.S. state department officials agreed to sell the Grosvenor Square building, in west London, to a Qatari Real Estate company, highlighting a lack of space and security concerns.
Now, U.S. embassy employees in London will commute to a previously undeveloped site in south west London, bordered by the Thames River to the north and Battersea Power Station to the west.
The location may not be to Trump’s taste but is he right to call it “off location” and what do we know about the new building?