Theresa May is set to meet President Donald Trump in Washington, DC on Friday (27 January 2017), ostensibly to revive the "special relationship" – a term first used by Winston Churchill to describe the bond between the two countries – between Britain and its former colony-turned-superpower.
Though May would be the first world leader to meet Trump since he won the US election in November 2016, she's not the first British politician.
That honour, if you can call it that, goes to former Ukip leader Nigel Farage, who boarded a flight the day after Trump's election victory, and went straight to the skyscraping golden vulgarity of Trump Tower in New York City to shake the man's hand.
While this is said to have annoyed the May government – and there are suggestions it was part of a concerted effort to undermine the UK's ambassador to the US, Sir Kim Darroch – Trump himself said he wants May to be "my Maggie", referring to the close relationship between Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan in the 1980s when they were prime minister and president respectively.
May has been less complimentary in the past, though she has had to appear more positive since Trump won the election, and the political reality of needing a functioning relationship with the leader of the world's only superpower took precedence.
So what exactly has May said about Trump in the past?
On Trump's claim that there were parts of London where police lived in fear of treading because of Islamic radicalisation, May told The Huffington Post in December 2015:
I can assure you that Donald Trump has got it absolutely wrong. The police in London are not afraid to go out and police the streets... Politicians should be very careful, as we are dealing with the issue of terrorism... as we fight terrorism, we need to be bringing communities together. Bringing greater cohesion in communities, not seeking to divide
On Trump's push for the presidency, May gave an oblique reference to her displeasure at the way he ran his campaign. Speaking at a press conference during a trade mission to India, she said:
I take a simple view about the way I like to see campaigns being conducted. I like them to be conducted in a calm and measured way with proper consideration of the issues
Ahead of her visit to the US, extracts of a speech she is due to give to Republicans was trailed, leading to her being accused of grovelling to Trump by appealing to his campaign themes as a ploy in her bid to secure a decent trade deal for post-Brexit Britain. She will say:
An America that is strong and prosperous at home is a nation that can lead abroad. But you cannot — and should not — do so alone. You have said that it is time for others to step up. And I agree... As we rediscover our confidence together — as you renew your nation, just as we renew ours — we have the opportunity, indeed the responsibility, to renew the special relationship for this new age. We have the opportunity to lead together again
When Andrew Tyrie, a Conservative MP, asked May if she would make clear to Trump that Britain would never "be dragged into facilitating... torture", following his claim on Wednesday (25 January 2017) that it works, May said:
I can assure my honourable friend that we have a very clear position on torture: we do not sanction torture, we do not get involved with that, and that will continue to be our position
In a House of Commons debate about the Brussels terror attacks, May attacked Trump's suggestion that Muslims were not reporting potential terrorist activity or radicalisation to the authorities in the UK:
I understand that [Trump] said Muslims were not coming forward in the United Kingdom to report matters of concern. This is absolutely not the case: he is just plain wrong. As I understand it, that has been confirmed this morning by Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu of the Metropolitan police. People in Muslim communities around the United Kingdom are as concerned as everybody else in the UK about both the attacks that have taken place and about the perversion of Islam underlying the ideology that has led to violence
At PMQs on Wednesday, May was asked by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn if she would pick Trump up on his "misogyny" when she meets him. May replied:
On the issue of my visit to the United States of America, I am pleased that I am able to meet President Trump so early in his administration. That is a sign of the strength of the special relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States of America – a special relationship on which he and I intend to build. But I also say to the leader of the opposition that I am not afraid to speak frankly to a president of the United States; I am able to do that because we have that special relationship – a special relationship that the right honourable gentleman [Corbyn] would never have with the United States
May was asked to respond to comments made by Trump that were caught on a secret recording, in which he said that when you are famous "you can do anything [to women] – grab them by the pussy". She told Sky News:
I think that's unacceptable. But, in fact, Donald Trump himself has said that and has apologised for it. But the relationship that the UK has with the United States is about something much bigger than the relationship between the two individuals as president and prime minister... From the conversations I've already had – I've had two very good, positive conversations with Donald Trump already – I think we're going to look to build on that relationship for both the US and the UK