President Trump's visit to London

Meeting: 
MQT on 2018-01-18
Session date: 
January 18, 2018
Reference: 
2018/0260
Question By: 
Andrew Dismore
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

Reports suggest that President Trump will visit London next year to open the new US Embassy. What is your best current estimate of the cost of policing such an event; and bearing in mind that the US Embassy already owes Londoners millions in unpaid congestion charges which they refuse to pay and the pressures on the Met's budget, do you think the bill for policing such a visit should be sent to the White House?

Answer

Answer for President Trump's visit to London

Answer for President Trump's visit to London

Answered By: 
The Mayor

You will note that subsequent to the tabling of this question it has become clear that the President's proposed visit has been cancelled.

The US embassy currently owe roughly £12 million to TfL in Congestion Charges. TfL have been clear that the Congestion Charge is a charge for a service and not a tax. This means that foreign diplomats are not exempt from paying it. TfL continue to pursue all unpaid Congestion Charge fees and related penalty charge notices. 

The cost of policing any visit from a Head of State to the UK depends on a host of factors including the length of the visit and the activities undertaken during that visit. It is not possible not provide detailed cost estimates in this case.

This is an example of the disproportionate cost of policing that falls on London as the nation's capital, which central government continue refuse to sufficiently through the National and International Capital City (NICC) grant.