(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE LONDON TELEGRAPH NEWS)
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BRITISH NEWSPAPER ‘THE TELEGRAPH’)
Donald Trump has grown frustrated with Theresa May’s “school mistress” tone, allies of the president have told The Telegraph, as it emerged the pair will not hold formal talks at the G7 summit in Canada.
The US president is said to bristle at the Prime Minister’s approach during phone calls, with Mrs May quick to get into policy details rather than wider conversation.
One senior US diplomat said Mr Trump had expressed annoyance at Mrs May’s frequent demands, which are seen as taking advantage of the UK-US relationship.
Another long-time friend of the president revealed he had privately complained of how Mrs May calls him out in public when he is deemed to have stepped out of line.
A third figure, a former White House official who attended meetings between the pair, confirmed the frosty relationship: “No offence, but she is basically a school mistress. I’m not sure anyone gets on well with her.”
The comments made to this newspaper chime with a report in The Washington Post on Thursday that Mr Trump sees Mrs May as too politically correct after she rebuked him over claims that parts of London have become “no-go” areas.
Asked about Mr Trump’s reported view of her before the summit in Quebec, Mrs Mrs said: “I just get on and make sure that I’m delivering. That’s the job of any politician.”
World leaders will gather on Friday in Charlevoix, Quebec, for a meeting of the G7 that has been overshadowed by Mr Trump’s decision to hit allies with hefty steel tariffs.
On the agenda for the two-day summit will be economic growth, the future of employment, gender equality, climate change and world peace.
However, the discussions risk being overshadowed by a growing rift between Mr Trump and leaders of countries traditionally closely aligned with America.
Mr Trump’s decision to put 25 per cent steel tariffs and 10 per cent aluminium tariffs on Canada, Mexico and the European Union have infuriated allies, as has his withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.
Government sources said Mr Trump was not expected to hold bi-lateral meetings with Mrs May during the trip.
The White House said in a briefing on Wednesday that Mr Trump would hold bilateral meetings with Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron, the leaders of Canada and France.
However, there was no mention of Mrs May.
Gordon Brown was once infamously snubbed by Barack Obama when he turned down five requests for a bilateral meeting during a 2009 gathering of world leaders in New York.
The then-prime minister had to settle for what one aide would later call a “snatched conversation” with Mr Obama in a kitchen, causing acute embarrassment when it was later reported.
Mrs May and Mr Trump, who have very different backgrounds and characters, have struggled to develop a close political friendship over the last 18 months.
The Prime Minster became the first world leader hosted in Mr Trump’s White House in January 2017, where the pair were pictured holding hands, but officials admit they are now not especially close.
A state visit to Britain offered at that time is still yet to happen and they have clashed a number of times over Mr Trump’s tweets and policy stances.
Former aides of Mrs May have insisted that Mr Trump often expresses his love for Britain during phone calls and adopts a respectful tone. However, few claim their relationship is especially warm.
British officials hope rolling out the red carpet when Mr Trump visits Britain on July 13 for a working trip will help improve relations, with a round of golf and tea with the Queen expected to feature.
But Mrs May is not alone in failing to build a rapport with Mr Trump. Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, has a frosty relationship with the US president, who often swipes at her country’s trade policies.
And many Western leaders have done little to hide their anger at the US president’s decisions over Iran and tariffs, going public with their criticism in recent weeks.
The row over tariffs, which have seen those affected hit back with reciprocal moves, has led to one of the most troubled run-ups to a G7 meeting in years.
Mrs May said that while she has made clear to Mr Trump that the tariffs are “unjustified”, she urged the EU to ensure its response is “proportionate”.
She said: “I made my views clear of the steel and aluminium tariffs. We disagree with these, we think they are unjustified. Obviously the EU will be responding.
“We will be working with others in the EU to ensure that response is proportionate, that it is within WTO rules. I will continue to put the argument for the importance of those trade relationships around the World.”
Mr Macron, widely seen as having developed one of the warmest relationships with Mr Trump among world leaders, did little to hide his frustration before the gathering.
“You say the US President doesn’t care at all. Maybe, but nobody is forever,” Mr Macron said, appearing to cite the fact that Mr Trump will someday leave office.
Mr Macron also made reference to the joke that the G7 has become the ‘G6 plus one’, saying: “Maybe the American president doesn’t care about being isolated today, but we don’t mind being six, if needs be.
“Because these six represent values, represent an economic market, and more than anything, represent a real force at the international level today.”
Mr Trump referred to the trade row in a tweet on Thursday night, adding he was looking forward to seeing Mr Trudeau and Mr Macron.
The US president is reportedly unhappy at having to attend the G7, coming on the eve of his historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore.
The US president fears being lectured to by other world leaders and would rather spend the time preparing for his talks with Kim, according to US media reports.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF REUTERS NEWS AGENCY)
British Prime Minister Theresa May’s lead over the opposition Labour Party has narrowed sharply, according to five opinion polls published since the Manchester attack, suggesting she might not win the landslide predicted just a month ago.
Four opinion polls published on Saturday showed that May’s lead had contracted by a range of 2 to 6 percentage points, indicating the June 8 election could be much tighter than initially thought when she called the snap vote.
“Theresa May is certainly the overwhelming favorite to win but crucially we are in the territory now where how well she is going to win is uncertain,” John Curtice, professor of politics at the University of Strathclyde, told Reuters.
“She is no longer guaranteed to get the landslide majority that she was originally setting out to get,” said Curtice, a leading psephologist who is president of the British Polling Council.
May called the snap election in a bid to strengthen her hand in negotiations on Britain’s exit from the European Union, to win more time to deal with the impact of the divorce and to strengthen her grip on the Conservative Party.
But if she does not handsomely beat the 12-seat majority her predecessor David Cameron won in 2015, her electoral gamble will have failed and her authority could be undermined just as she enters formal Brexit negotiations.
Sterling on Friday suffered its steepest fall since January after a YouGov opinion poll showed the lead of May’s Conservatives over Labour was down to 5 percentage points.
LANDSLIDE IN QUESTION?
When May stunned politicians and financial markets on April 18 with her call for a snap election, opinion polls suggested she could emulate Margaret Thatcher’s 1983 majority of 144 seats or even threaten Tony Blair’s 1997 Labour majority of 179 seats.
But polls had shown May’s rating slipping over the past month and they fell sharply after she set out plans on May 18 to make some elderly people pay a greater share of their care costs, a proposal dubbed the ‘dementia tax’ by opponents.
As her lead shrank, May was forced to backtrack on the policy at an appearance before the media on Monday at which she appeared flustered and irritated when taking questions from reporters.
Campaigning was suspended for several days after the Manchester attack but resumed on Friday.
Polls since the attack showed little evidence that May – who as a former interior minister oversaw the police and domestic intelligence agency – had gained support.
“The campaign has changed,” Johnny Heald, managing director of ORB International, said. “Expect to see a forensic focus on Brexit and security over the next two weeks.”
Opinium said May’s lead had slipped to 10 percentage points, down from 13 points the week before and from 19 percentage points on April 19. Its online survey of 2,002 people was carried out between May 23 and 24.
ComRes said the lead of May’s Conservatives had fallen to 12 percentage points in an online poll of 2,024 carried out May 24-26, from 18 percentage points in a comparable poll on May 13.
ORB said May’s lead had halved to 6 percentage points, according to an online poll carried out May 24-25.
A YouGov survey of 2,003 people between May 25-26 showed May’s lead had narrowed 7 percentage points from nine a week ago.
The polls painted a complicated picture of public opinion, with Britons’ current voting intentions being influenced by both the deadly Manchester attack and May’s unpopular social care proposals.
Conservative election strategist, Lynton Crosby, has ordered a return to May’s main message: that only Theresa May can be trusted to negotiate Brexit, The Sunday Times reported.
(Writing by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Gareth Jones and Michael Holden)
(This article is courtesy of the Shanghai Daily News Paper)
PRESIDENT Xi Jinping told British Prime Minister Theresa May he was open to a bilateral trade agreement between the two countries, a British official told reporters at the G20.
“Xi said that they wanted to look at how we could strengthen our trading and economic relationship and that China was open to a bilateral trade arrangement with the UK,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.
The official also said Xi told May that China would remain patient while her government gets to grips with decisions taken by her predecessor.
Since taking office, May has delayed a decision on whether to back a nuclear project at Hinkley Point that is being partly financed by the Chinese.
“He recognized the new government would need to take some time before reaching decisions on some agreements pushed by the last government. President Xi said that they had the patience to wait for a resolution on those issues.”
Asked whether that was a reference to Hinkley Point, the official said it was implicit that Xi was referencing decisions of that nature, but that Hinkley was not specifically mentioned.
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