April 26, 2019 / 2:50 PM / a month ago

UK opposition leader Corbyn says won't attend Trump state dinner

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn attends the funeral service for murdered journalist Lyra McKee at St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast, Northern Ireland April 24, 2019. Brian Lawless/Pool via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - The leader of Britain’s opposition 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 honor 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

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