THOUSANDS of protesters lined the road outside Blenheim Palace as President Donald Trump made his much-anticipated arrival in Oxfordshire.

The controversial US leader and the First Lady, Melania, dined with Prime Minister Theresa May at the Woodstock stately home yesterday evening.

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Pic. PA

It is understood they were joined by Witney MP Robert Courts, Oxfordshire County Council leader Ian Hudspeth and a number of Conservative ministers.


Scores of business leaders from around the country were also present to celebrate links between the UK and America.

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Police had been drawn in from across the country to cover security. One officer said forces from everywhere in England – apart from the Metropolitan Police – were represented.

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A protester is heled down after climbing a pillar

While the Prime Minister used the opportunity to press her case for an ambitious new trade deal with the US, protesters, including many prominent Oxfordshire politicians, were on hand to show their objection to President Trump – who earlier claimed “I think they like me a lot in the UK”.

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English teacher Edmund Howard, from Oxford, said he came along to express his solidarity with all those who Trump had mistreated.

He said: “We believe that Britain is better than this. I would say that he is a disgrace to his office.”

There were reportedly more than 3,000 people demonstrating on either side of the road near the palace’s main entrance.

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Among them was Layla Moran, Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West.

She said: “I understand why, in the Brexit turmoil, Theresa May is clutching at straws. I just hope he’s listening, in some way, and knows that, despite what he said, no, not all Britons like him.”

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Many Labour councillors were also there to make their feelings heard.

Rosa Bolger, who represents Witney East on West Oxfordshire District Council, said she was delighted to see such a positive demonstration.

She said: “I think it was wonderful to see such a positive protest that really goes against everything he believes in.

“I think it’s really important to stand together with those who Trump’s policies have affected most. It’s about getting that message across that he is not welcome here.”

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Andrew Rokkiki, a New Yorker living in Oxford, said he certainly took no offence at the protests, saying: “I never got the impression they were anti-American. People aren’t that stupid – they can separate the person from the country.”

The Trumps were driven to the palace, Sir Winston Churchill’s birthplace, in a presidential limo and managed to bypass the enthusiastic protesters by the main entrance.

Food included salmon, beef and strawberries.

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Mrs May told the President the history, language, values and culture shared by the UK and US “inspire mutual respect” and make the two nations “not just the closest of allies, but the dearest of friends”.