British Press Pulls No Punches on First Day of Donald Trump U.K. Visit As Locals Troll President

The first day of President Donald Trump's state visit to the U.K. went relatively smoothly on Monday, as the first family headed to Buckingham Palace in London to meet and eat with the royal family.

Though Trump managed to revive his long-running spat with London Mayor Sadiq Khan before the wheels of Air Force One touched down on the runway at Stansted Airport, the rest of the day was fairly smooth sailing for the president.

Trump is deeply unpopular in the U.K. He did little to win over his hosts ahead of the visit with a clumsy intervention into the salient domestic political issues currently facing the country.

The president's visit is dominating the British news cycle, but little of the coverage has been positive. On Tuesday, the front pages of the major national newspapers focused on Trump's attack on Khan and the mass protests against him scheduled for Tuesday.

Donald Trump, Queen Elizabeth II, state visit,banquet
President Donald Trump listens as Queen Elizabeth II makes a speech during a state banquet at Buckingham Palace on June 3, 2019 in London, U.K. Getty/Dominic Lipinski- WPA Pool

The Daily Mirror led with a "Pomp and Protest" headline, contrasting Monday's royal banquet with reports that 250,000 people will descend on central London to show their opposition to the president.

The i newspaper carried reports that scheduled talks between the president and Prime Minister Theresa May—who will leave office at the end of this week—had been scrapped. The paper described the development as a "snub" of May by Trump, though the prime minister's office said such schedule changes are not unusual.

The Guardian's "Tea and Antipathy" front page story noted that Trump's exchange with Khan marred his first day in the U.K., describing the president's attack as a "Twitter tirade."

Meanwhile, both The Independent and The Telegraph led with plans by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to address anti-Trump protesters in central London on Tuesday. Corbyn will be joined by several other prominent Labour politicians, underscoring the deep divide between the opposition and the ruling Conservative Party, whose most senior members are tiptoeing around the president's diplomatic gaffes and unpopularity in the U.K.

Some newspapers were kinder to the commander in chief. The Daily Mail, for example, joined Trump in attacking Khan and Corbyn, borrowing his phrasing to term the Labour pair "stone cold losers." And The Daily Express, quoting Trump's banquet speech, said it looked forward to throwing off the "shackles" of the European Union via Brexit.

As Trump negotiated his way through the pomp and circumstance afforded by a state visit, activists used huge projectors to troll the president by projecting images onto the sides of famous landmarks.

They included an image showing approval ratings for Trump and former President Barack Obama among British people—21 percent and 72 percent, respectively—an image of a hat bearing the USS John McCain, and footage of Boris Johnson—the Conservative politician endorsed by Trump and expected to become the next prime minister—criticizing the president.

Hi @realDonaldTrump. Just so you know, you’re wildly unpopular here in Britain. SAD! People REALLY don’t like you (though they love @BarackObama). Hope you like seeing your FAILING approval numbers projected onto the Tower of London. #TrumpUKvisit

— Led By Donkeys (@ByDonkeys) June 3, 2019

Tuesday will bring much more opposition, as protest organizers attempt to replicate the demonstrations that greeted the president during his 2018 working visit. Then he was kept largely out of London, but this time it appears he will remain in the capital for the entire day before heading to the south coast on Wednesday for a D-Day anniversary event.

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the approval ratings of U.S. politicians in the U.K.

British U.S. Politicians Opinion Poll Ratings
Approval ratings of U.S. politicians in the U.K. Statista

This article was updated to include an infographic.