Corbyn says won't attend Trump state dinner

FILE PHOTO: Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves his home, as Brexit uncertainty continues, in London, Britain April 8, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

LONDON (Reuters) - The leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, said on Friday he had turned down an invitation to a state dinner which will be one of the highlights of U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to Britain in June.

“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 said recently that Julian Assange should not be extradited to the United States where he faces a computer hacking charge.

Corbyn 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 when he will become only 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.

Reporting by Andy Bruce; Writing by William Schomberg; editing by Michael Holden