US President Donald Trump's planned visit to Britain in January has reportedly been postponed as the leaders on both sides of the pond find themselves in an escalation of words.
Trump was set to go to the UK for a "working visit" in the New Year to formally open the new US Embassy in London. It was set to be a scaled down version of a state visit with no meeting with the Queen to allow Trump to come to the UK without the potential for mass protests.
But the trip, scheduled for January 2018, has been pushed back with no new date set, the Telegraph reported.
"The idea of a visit has obviously been floated, but not December and not January. I would not expect a Trump visit in January," a senior US diplomat told the paper.
Trump and Theresa May have engaged in a very public debate back and forth over the US president's re-tweeting of anti-Muslim videos posted by far-right group Britain First.
May has rebuked Trump, saying he was "wrong" for sharing the videos and also denounced Britain First as a "hateful organisation". According to the Telegraph, Sir Kim Darroch, the British ambassador to the US, formally complained to the White House about Trump's behaviour.
On Wednesday (29 November) night, Trump hit back at May's criticisms, telling her to not worry about him but instead worry about "radical Islamic terrorism" in the UK.
However, US diplomatic sources deny the US President ever had plans to visit the UK in either December or January.
Trump still plans at State Visit to the UK, which might include a meeting with the Queen, later next year.
But Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is one of a number of figures who says that the State Visit should be scrapped in the wake of Trump's latest anti-Muslim tweets.
Khan said in a statement the US President had "used Twitter to promote a vile, extremist group that exists solely to sow division and hatred in our country.
"It beggars belief that the President of our closest ally doesn't see that his support of this extremist group actively undermines the values of tolerance and diversity that makes Britain so great."
Khan added that "after this latest incident, it is increasingly clear that any official visit from President Trump to Britain would not be welcomed."
But a spokesman for the US Embassy told IBTimesUK: "An invitation was extended by the UK government. It has been accepted, but no date has yet been set for the Presidential visit."
Meanwhile, Britain First has praised Trump for sharing its anti-Muslim videos. The far-right group said it received a boost in support after the three videos were shared to Trump's 44 million Twitter followers.
Paul Golding, the group's leader, told The Times that Britain First received hundreds of membership applications in the 24 hours after Trump's retweets. The group's deputy leader, Jayda Fransen, claimed the retweets were a form of an endorsement.
Fransen also pleaded with Trump to intervene in her upcoming court case over using threatening and abusive language during an anti-Muslim speech in Belfast.
She was convicted of religiously aggravated harassment in 2016 after shouting at a woman wearing a hijab during a "Christian patrol" of a predominantly Muslim neighbourhood and fined £2000.