What caused con­tro­versy

The Herald - - NEWS -

Q Was a UK trip def­i­nitely go­ing ahead?

A Mrs May con­tro­ver­sially ex­tended the of­fer of a state visit when she be­came the first world leader to meet Mr Trump in the White House fol­low­ing his in­au­gu­ra­tion last year. Since then, how­ever, the president has in­di­cated he does not want to take up the in­vi­ta­tion if he is go­ing to face mass demon­stra­tions.

Q Was the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion re­spon­si­ble for sell­ing off the em­bassy?

A The de­ci­sion was taken by the Bush Gov­ern­ment in 2008 – the year Barack Obama was elected. Then­pres­i­dent Ge­orge W Bush cited se­cu­rity as the main rea­son for the sale, while US of­fi­cials said it would have taken sev­eral years and hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars to bring the Grade II-listed Lon­don Chancery Build­ing up to scratch.

Q Was it sold for ‘peanuts’?

A The build­ing was leased to the US em­bassy from the Grosvenor Es­tate un­der a pep­per­corn long-term lease. It was then sold in 2009 to a Qatari gov­ern­ment in­vest­ment fund, which plans to turn it into a ho­tel. The price has not been re­vealed.

Q Is the new lo­ca­tion ‘off’?

A While it does not hold the his­tory of the May­fair site, which was home in some form to the Amer­i­cans for two cen­turies, a multi­bil­lion­pound re­de­vel­op­ment is cur­rently trans­form­ing the area sur­round­ing the new build­ing.The cap­i­tal’s po­lit­i­cal heart is just min­utes away.

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