Rutland MP Sir Alan Duncan dines with Donald Trump and the Queen at Buckingham Palace
Rutland MP Sir Alan Duncan has met US President Donald Trump and dined with him and the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
The MP has also defended the reasons for the president's State Visit and has hit out at Labour politicians for campaigning against it.
The pair met at the lavish state banquet last night at Buckingham Palace, where the Europe and Americas Minister were among the political guests present. Sir Alan also met members of Donald trump's family.
The politicians met again this afternoon at a press conference with Theresa May.
Some 170 guests including members of the Royal Family, politicians and business leaders attended last night's banquet.
Sir Alan, who also met Mr Trump during his 'working visit' last summer, repeated his earlier support for such visits.
In his column for this Thursday's Rutland Times and Friday's Stamford Mercury, the Foreign Office Minister highlights the 'special relationship' between the US and the UK.
Sir Alan cites both countries being "crucial actors" in drawing up a rules-based trading system which has helped deliver global prosperity, and both countries having shred values of liberty and democracy.
Reflecting the visit marking the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings, he continued: "Our militaries and intelligence services work together to ensure security and promote humanitarianism across the globe, working to subvert the actions of states who seek to undermine the rules-based system, and terrorists who wish to further their twisted ideologies through targetting innocent people."
Sir Alan also highlighted strong and growing trade links between the US and the UK, which last year was worth £190 billion, having grown 70 per cent over the past decade.
He continued: "A State Visit to the UK is a celebration of the history and significance of the UK-US relationship."
Sir Alan also recalled that the Queen has met all bar one of the US Presidents during her long reign, welcoming 9 of 12 to the UK, which with the D-Day anniversary, reminded us all what both countries have achieved together.
"It is because our special relationship is built on mutual respect that we are able to have frank discussions about the issues we disagree on while continuing to work together as a transatlantic community to make our countries safer and more prosperous."
Answering critics of the visit, Sir Alan called it 'disappointing' Labour politicians were using a visit centred on D-Day commemorations to "score political points and instigate personal spats with the president."
Sir Alan agreed with Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt it was 'inappropriate' for leader Jeremy Corbyn and London Mayor Sadiq Khan to boycot the state dinner despite attending Chinese President Xi Jinping's state dinner in 2015. He also accused shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry of being "irresponsibly short-sighted when it comes to the UK's closest ally."
Sir Alan added: "Whatever you may think of President Trump personally, he is the democratically elected leader of our closest friend. We should welcome him and work with him, not snub him, in order to continue our special relationship."
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