Handshakes and protests: US President Donald Trump's UK visit continues

The AM Show 05/06/2019

Theresa May has welcomed Donald Trump to Downing Street, but there was no handshake between the two leaders.

The US President, who was involved in an awkward "fist bump" greeting with the Queen on Monday, avoided a repeat incident by not shaking the Prime Minister's hand outside Number 10.

The two leaders had already seen each other on Tuesday morning, spending time together with business leaders at St James' Palace.

May and husband Philip greeted the president and First Lady Melania Trump as they arrived in Downing Street.

Trump and his wife Melania arrived on Monday for a three-day state visit - a pomp-laden affair that involved a banquet at Buckingham Palace on Monday evening.

Both May and her husband shook hands with the First Lady while Trump shook hands with May.

On Monday, Trump appeared to deliver an unusual handshake upon meeting the Queen.

Some remarked that his holding of the monarch's hand looked at first in photographs like a fist bump.

But he actually seemed to clench her hand rather than shaking it with a flat hand.

The American leader has form for grabbing hands and holding on to them for a long period of time, but the Queen was spared this.

Not everyone in Britain has welcomed Trump, with various forms of protests taking place across the country.

One man spent a day mowing a large penis into a field directly beneath the flight path Air Force One would take over Stanstead.

The large phallus was accompanied by the words "Oi Trump," and a second message reading "climate change is real," underneath a large polar bear.

Photo credit: Twitter/ @born_eco

But that's not the only message England had in store for Trump.

A giant inflatable blimp depicting Trump as a sneering baby in a nappy has flown outside the British parliament in London ahead of what is expected to be one of the city's largest protests against a foreign leader.

Leo Murray, 42, the co-creator of the blimp, said: "We're trying to remind the president how unwelcome he is in this country.

"We're also, in a light-hearted way, trying to articulate the strength of feeling against Donald Trump and his politics of hate," he said.

We want to put a smile on people's faces as well as make a serious point.

Around 100 activists counted down from 10 to one for the launch of the blimp, which was first used during Trump's visit to London last year. It was tethered a few metres off the ground. 

The launch marked what is expected to be a day of protests across the country.

In central London the leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party will join tens of thousands in a "Carnival of Resistance" against the president.

Jeremy Corbyn, who will speak at the rally after snubbing Monday night's banquet at Buckingham Palace, said it was an "opportunity to stand in solidarity with those he's attacked in America, around the world and in our own country".

Among those taking part will be environmental activists, anti-racism campaigners and women's rights protesters.

Police will close the road directly outside Downing Street to protect the president and his family.

In Britain, Trump's ban on travel to the United States from several primarily Muslim countries, the decision to withdraw the United States from a global deal to combat climate change, and his criticism of British politicians have helped stoke opposition to his presidency.

The state dinner held in the president's honour was boycotted by several politicians, including the leader of Britain's Liberal Democrat party as well as Corbyn and other senior Labour figures.

The US president's supporters said it was an insult to snub the leader of Britain's closest ally. But the demonstrators have received tactical support from Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who has repeatedly clashed with the president and who gave permission to fly the blimp.

Trump called the mayor a "stone-cold loser" shortly before he arrived in Britain and has in the past accused him of failing to do enough to stop deadly terror attacks in London.

Trump said he is "loved" in Britain despite the protests. He said he was closer to Britain than any other American leader, citing his mother's Scottish roots and the two golf courses he owns in the country.

"Tremendous crowds of well wishers and people that love our country," Trump said in a tweet on Monday.

"Haven't seen any protests yet, but I'm sure the Fake News will be working hard to find them. Great love all around."

The first day of Trump's visit was taken up with royal engagements and ceremonies.

The AM Show / Reuters