Government gives assurances over £900,000 Trump visit to Portsmouth
PORTSMOUTH City Council has received assurances from the government it will not foot the anticipated £900,000 bill for the controversial visit of American President Donald Trump.
THE outspoken US leader will be in the city on June 5 for the national event to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
His presence, though, has angered many who believe his attendance will detract from the veterans.
Irritations rocketed even further after it was thought the city would be left paying for the expensive visit of the president.
Stephen Morgan, MP for Portsmouth South, expressed his concerns about the impact on the city in a letter, seen by The News, to the chief executive of the council David Williams.
He said: ‘Mr Trump’s previous visit to the UK cost £18million in policing and security. I would therefore be grateful if you would help me understand what urgent arrangements are being put in place in Portsmouth and what measures are being taken with government to mitigate any costs to local taxpayers.’
Responding to concerns, Mr Williams insisted the Ministry of Defence will be stumping up for the event. He wrote: ‘We have received confirmation that the MOD will provide funding up to £900,000 for the D-Day75 event.
‘This is sufficient to give us assurance to make financial commitments for the D-Day75 event.’
But despite the assurances, Mr Morgan has again aired his fears over ‘unanswered questions’. He said: ‘We cannot allow the government to place the financial burden on the people of Portsmouth for the president’s visit.’
He added: ‘I already know that council officers, the police and others are going above and beyond in preparing our city for the important D-Day 75 commemorations.’
Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth's Conservative group, said: ‘There was always going to be a price for an international occasion but I would urge people to start being more positive about the event. I’m pleased the government are paying but the council is still paying for a lot.’