Donald Trump has renewed his criticism of the new US embassy in London, describing its “lousy” location as a “Bush-Obama special”.
The US president, who refused to come to London in January to open the new site in Nine Elms, south of the Thames, added at a rally that the spot where it was built was “horrible”.
Speaking in Michigan, he said the previous US embassy in Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, had boasted the “best site in all of London”.
But he continued: “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 said that while he would have to check, he thought the Mayfair site had been sold for $250m.
“They go out and they buy a horrible location. And they build a new embassy. That’s the good news. The bad news is it cost over a billion dollars,” he added.
“So now what do we have? We have an embassy in a lousy location.”
The new building’s security features are said to include bomb-proof triple glazing.
Up to £15bn in regeneration investment is being put into improving the area around the new embassy with the London Underground adding a new branch to the Northern Line to provide public transport to the site.
Mr Trump, who is coming to Britain on Friday 13 July, explained his no-show earlier this year by saying the new embassy was a “bad deal” in an “off location”.
There was speculation at the time, however, that his cancellation was driven by fear of protests in the British capital.
He explained at the rally on Saturday: “By the way, they wanted me to cut the ribbon on the embassy and I said I’m not going. I don’t wanna do it.
“I said ‘I’m not cutting that ribbon’. I said ‘I’m not going’.”
The move was a “Bush-Obama special” that “could have been stopped by Obama”, he claimed.
The move from Grosvenor Square was initiated by George W Bush’s administration.
The plan was revealed in a post on its website dated 8 October 2008 – just under a month before Mr Obama’s election.
It said: “The US State Department today signed a conditional agreement with the real estate developer Ballymore to acquire a site in the Nine Elms Opportunity Area in Wandsworth for the construction of a new Embassy.”
Mr Trump was not entirely negative about the new building. “Hey, hopefully we’ll have many years of success with that embassy,” he said at the rally in Michigan.
From – SkyNews