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Donald Trump renews criticism of ‘lousy’ London embassy

April 28, 2018

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Media captionTake a look around the new US embassy

Donald Trump has again criticised the new home of the US embassy in London, describing the south London location as “lousy” and “horrible”.

He spoke at a rally three months after saying the sale of the Grosvenor Square site in Mayfair was a “bad deal”.

The US president, who visits the UK in July, had blamed his predecessor, Barack Obama, but the move was agreed during George W Bush’s presidency.

Donald Trump renews criticism of ‘lousy’ London embassyDonald Trump renews criticism of ‘lousy’ London embassy

The new embassy in Vauxhall cost $1bn (£730m) and holds 800 members of staff.

Mr Trump said he thought – but would have to check – that officials sold the previous site for $250m (£181m).

Speaking at a rally in Michigan, the president said: “In the UK, in London, we had the best site in all of London. The best site.

“Well, some genius said: ‘We’re gonna sell the site and then we’re going to take the money and build a new embassy.’

“That sounds good right, but you’ve got to have money left over if you do that, right?”

He added: “By the way, they wanted me to cut the ribbon on the embassy [in January] and I said: ‘I’m not going. I don’t wanna do it.'”

Mr Trump previously described the new site as an “off location”.

The building on the Mayfair site was never owned outright by the United States. It owned a 999-year leasehold, but the freehold is owned by Grosvenor Estates.

BBC diplomatic correspondent James Landale said the embassy was moved from its Mayfair site because it was too small to install the modern security it needed.

The new embassy in Vauxhall was opened on 16 January 2018.

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