Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn declined to attend a state dinner at Buckingham Palace in honor of Donald Trump.
The U.S. president will make a state visit to the U.K. in June, which will include a banquet hosted by Queen Elizabeth. But Corbyn, an outspoken critic of Trump, said he was opposed to the president receiving the “red carpet” treatment and would not be attending the dinner.
He did say he would welcome a meeting with Trump “to discuss all matters of interest.”
“Theresa May should not be rolling out the red carpet for a state visit to honour a President who rips up vital international treaties, backs climate change denial and uses racist and misogynist rhetoric,” Corbyn said in a statement. A state visit is one in which the queen, on the advice of the U.K. government, issues the invitation.
“Maintaining an important relationship with the United States does not require the pomp and ceremony of a State Visit. It is disappointing that the Prime Minister has again opted to kowtow to this US administration.”
Corbyn is the second U.K. political leader to decline an invitation to the state dinner. Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable announced on Thursday that he would not be attending, saying that he believed the extension of full state visit honors had been granted “inappropriately” by Theresa May’s government.
Trump will visit the U.K. from June 3-5, meeting the queen, holding discussions with May at Downing Street and accompanying the prime minister at a major commemoration event to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
The state visit was first offered by May in 2017 when she became the first foreign leader to visit Trump at the White House. Amid concerns about major planned protests, the trip was initially put on hold, with Trump making a more low-key visit without full state honors in July last year.