John Bercow condemns Theresa May’s ‘breathless’ pursuit of Donald Trump – ‘a great pity’
Brexit ‘colossal foreign policy blunder’ says Bercow
The former House of Commons Speaker has criticised the way Mrs May went about her pursuit of the US President after he won the US election in 2016. She became the first foreign leader to meet Mr Trump after his inauguration on January, 20, 2017. Just days later the pair cemented their relationship with face-to-face talks in the Oval Office of the White House.
Mr Bercow said Mrs May “rushed to pay homage” to Mr Trump and described the situation as a “great pity”.
The US President was earmarked for a state visit to the UK in the summer of 2017, but this would eventually be pushed back by two years.
Mr Bercow, 57, claimed Mrs May was “almost breathless” in trying to get the US President to come to the UK.
Just a month after Mr Trump was inaugurated, Mr Bercow famously said he would oppose the US President speaking in Westminster Hall, citing his controversial migrant ban.
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Speaking on Times Radio on Saturday, Mr Bercow said: “I thought it was a great pity for a start that Theresa May rushed to pay homage to Donald Trump.
“She seemed almost breathless in her quest to get him to come to this country and speak here.”
Mr Bercow, who left his role as Speaker in 2019, says Mrs May’s relationship with Mr Trump began to unravel after she criticised him for retweeting material from the far-right political group Britain First.
The former Commons Speaker said: “He, as we know, is notoriously thin-skinned [and] turned on her.
“And OK, her efforts on Brexit were fruitless and often maladroit, but he then conducted a running commentary on those efforts, undermining her at every turn.
“So I think she probably realised that currying favour with him was ultimately ineffective and maybe even counterproductive.”
Speaking in March 2019, Mr Trump said Mrs May ignored his advice on how to handle Brexit negotiations with the European Union.
At the time, Mrs May had failed to convince MPs in parliament to support her Brexit Withdrawal Agreement and was forced to extend the deadline with Brussels.
In a hugely embarrassing moment for Mrs May, Mr Trump said: “I’m surprised at how badly it’s all gone from the standpoint of a negotiation.
“I gave the prime minister my ideas on how to negotiate it and I think you would have been successful.
“She didn’t listen to that and that’s fine – she’s got to do what she’s got to do.
“I think it could have been negotiated in a different manner, frankly. I hate to see everything being ripped apart now.”
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Mr Trump was eventually granted a three-day state visit to the UK in June, 2019 – just weeks before Mrs May formally left Downing Street.
He has just 10 days left of his own reign in power before he is replaced by former Vice President Joe Biden.
But before inauguration day, enraged Democrats are plotting to have Mr Trump impeached.
The US President has been widely condemned for inciting the riots last Wednesday which saw protestors storm the Capitol building in Washington.
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