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UK opposition leader Corbyn, refuses to attend Trump’s state dinner

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Leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn, on Friday turned down an invitation to a state dinner for U.S. President Donald Trump, billed to visit Britain in June.

Trump, Queen Elizabeth
Donald Trump

Corbyn said the state dinner would be one of the highlights of Trump’s visit.

“Theresa May should not be rolling out the red carpet for a state visit to honour a president, who rips up vital international treaties, backs climate change denial and uses racist and misogynist rhetoric,” Corbyn said in a statement.

The left-wing Labour leader has long railed against U.S. foreign policy and also recently said that Julian Assange should not be extradited to the U.S. where he faces a computer hacking charge.

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He said he would welcome a meeting with Trump “to discuss all matters of interest” but said maintaining ties with Washington did not require “the pomp and ceremony of a state visit.”

Trump is due to visit Britain between June 3 and 5, becoming the third U.S. president to have been accorded a state visit by Queen Elizabeth.

However, Trump will not stay in Buckingham Palace, as foreign leaders typically do during state visits, because of renovation work.

Almost 1.9 million Britons signed a petition in 2017 saying Trump should not be offered a state visit.

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