Donald Trump 'may' meet Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage

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Media caption,

Trump: I like Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage

Donald Trump has said he "may" meet Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage and Conservative MP Boris Johnson during next week's state visit to the UK.

The US president described them as "friends" and "good guys".

Mr Trump's three-day visit includes a Buckingham Palace dinner and breakfast with Prime Minister Theresa May.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said he will not attend Mr Trump's state banquet, accusing the president of using "racist and misogynist rhetoric".

The president's trip, from 3 to 5 June, will also include a ceremonial welcome in the Buckingham Palace garden and a commemorative event in Portsmouth for the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

Mr Trump praised Mr Farage's "big victory" in the European elections, in which the Brexit Party received 32% of UK votes.

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Nigel Farage spoke at a campaign rally for Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential race

He described both Mr Farage and Mr Johnson, who is among 11 contenders to replace Mrs May as Conservative leader, as "big powers" adding: "I think they have done a good job."

Asked if he supported them, Mr Trump relied: "Well, I like them. They are friends of mine but I haven't thought about supporting them.

"Maybe it's not my business to support people, but I have a lot of respect for both of those men."

Huawei concerns

During the visit, the Americans are expected to express concern over giving the Chinese company Huawei access to the UK 5G network.

Leaked reports from the UK's National Security Council suggested the firm could be allowed to build "non-core" parts of the network, such as antennas, despite fears this could increase the risk of espionage.

The US has put Huawei on a trade blacklist and US National Security Adviser John Bolton said the firm posed "a different kind of threat".

Image caption,
A six-metre blimp - depicting the president as a baby - was flown outside Parliament during Mr Trump's last visit to the UK

The president's visit to the UK last year prompted tens of thousands of people to protest in London.

The upcoming trip has been condemned by shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry who said the president had "systematically assaulted all the shared values that unite our two countries".

In addition to Mr Corbyn, Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable has declined an invitation to attend the state banquet hosted for Mr Trump.

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow has said he would be "strongly opposed" to Mr Trump addressing the Houses of Parliament.

But Mrs May has hailed the visit as an opportunity for the UK and US "to strengthen our already close relationship".