Plans are reportedly being formulated in Whitehall to minimise the number of steps President Donald Trump must climb during his state visit to the UK.

Government officials are attempting to make sure the trip runs smoothly and are apparently responding to reports that Trump has a phobia of steps and slopes.

This rumoured phobia was cited as the reason Trump was pictured clasping the hand of Prime Minister Theresa May when the pair met at the White House.

The controversial US President is due to visit the UK in October, but the trip is likely to be met with significant anger from British citizens.

The topic of stairs has featured in meetings planning for the president's visit.

"I've heard this discussed in meetings about the state visit," an official told The Times. "People want everything to go smoothly. Trump won't be able to avoid the stairs at the palace, but they can plan things to minimise it."

Trump is due to dine at Buckingham Palace and also to visit Balmoral.

The president has criticised his predecessor for his way of using stairs. In 2014, he tweeted: "The way President Obama runs down the stairs of Air Force One, hopping and bobbing all the way, is so inelegant and unpresidential. Do not fall!"

A phobia of stairs is known as bathmophobia. Trump has also admitted being a germaphobe, and famously used this to dismiss allegations of lewd behavior made against him in a leaked intelligence report.

trump stairs
Donald Trump climbs stairs in the offices of the New York Times in 2016. The US president reportedly has a phobia of stairs. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Trump has been more open about this phobia. "One of the curses of American society is the simple act of shaking hands, and the more successful and famous one becomes the worse this terrible custom seems to get," Trump wrote in his 1997 book The Art of the Comeback.

He continued: "I happen to be a clean hands freak. I feel much better after I thoroughly wash my hands, which I do as much as possible."