Theresa May criticised over 'patronising' tea set gift for Melania Trump

Posted On: 
3rd June 2019

Theresa May has been accused of "patronising" Melania Trump after it emerged the First Lady will be given a tea set to commemorate her visit to the UK.

Donald Trump and his wife Melania with the Queen on the first day of their state visit.
Credit: 
PA Images

By contrast, Donald Trump will be presented with a framed typescript draft of the Atlantic Charter, which was agreed by President Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill during the Second World War.

The historic text, which shows Churchill's handwritten amendments, set out the pair's vision for a post-war world and was one of the first steps towards the formation of the United Nations.

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But it is the tea set, designed by Emma Bridgewater, which has raised eyebrows.

Lib Dem MP Jo Swinson, who is running to succeed Sir Vince Cable as her party's leader, said: "While we should be relieved at there being at least one civilised thing in the White House, it does seem patronising that President Trump, despite all evidence to the contrary, is treated like a student of history while his wife gets the kind of present people used to give schoolgirls."

A spokesman for Mrs May said: "They are both gifts which have been carefully chosen."

Asked if it was patronising to give the First Lady a tea set, he replied: "I wouldn't see it like that."

The spokesman also dismissed suggestions that President Trump's present was an attempt to impress upon him the importance of the international rules-based order, given his reputation for seeking to disrupt political norms.

He said: "D-Day is a very important part of these commemorations. The United Kingdom and the United States have stood together as allies and the Prime Minister is looking forward to those relations between our two countries continuing to deepen in the future.

"The Prime Minister and the president have worked very closely together over the past two years or so when those big moments have come along. They worked together very closely in response to the use of a chemical weapon in the United Kingdom - the president expelled a very large number of Russian diplomats.

"They worked together very closely following the chemical weapons attack in Dhouma to reinstate that very important principal, and in relation to Nato they've worked together in ensuring there has been a significant uplift in pledges of funding from its various members."