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'Woody Johnson a Trump ally'.

THE American ambassador touched down on Tyneside yesterday - but his visit provoked fury from one Newcastle councillor.

Ambassador Woody Johnson visited Newcastle to cement links with business improvement firm NE1, and marked Martin Luther King day at Newcastle University.

Elswick councillor and campaigner Dipu Ahad said the city should have refused to welcome the ambassador in protest at his boss' controversial views and statements.

He said: "We need to make it clear that Donald Trump's views, his views on women, on the Muslim community, the way he has recently described Africa, are bang out of order, and not acceptable for the leader of the free world.

"Woody Johnson is an ally of Donald Trump's and if he is not condemning those views, he is complicit in them."

Coun Ahad said he believes that speaking out against such visits could have a genuine impact on US representatives' plans.

He said: "There will be many people in the city who will agree with me. We saw last week the cancellation of Donald Trump's visit to the UK, and I believe that was because of the fear he had of mass protests across the UK.

"We need to continue to make it clear that he and his allies, anyone with his views, is not welcome.

"Of course, we can't ban anyone, but the strong message that he and his allies are not welcome here might have an impact on future visits."

But organisers NE1 insisted the visit was solely focused on business opportunities, and had nothing to do with the president.

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 16, 2018
Words:258
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