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What should Theresa May ask Donald Trump? These students told us which issues matter to them

26th January 2017

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Theresa May will meet with new president of the United States Donald Trump tomorrow, just a week on from Trump’s inauguration – making her the first foreign leader to do so.

With a seemingly endless quantity of issues to cover, reporter Edd Dracott went to King’s College London armed with a whiteboard and a camera to ask students what questions they would want the Prime Minister to ask President Trump.

Ben, 26 – Politics

Ben, 26
Ben, 26 (Edd Dracott/PA)

Question: Are you leaving Nato?

Why this question?

Nato has been the bedrock of the Atlantic alliance for a very long time and if the US is leaving it then it means that the way we approach world politics is going to change dramatically.

Do you think it’s likely Theresa May will ask this question?

Yes, I think it’s quite likely. I think it’s quite easy to ask cheeky questions but he’s an elected president and he’s made a commitment that deeply and seriously affects the UK. It’s appropriate for us to ask him that question just so we know what to do.

Catriona, 22 – Classics

Catriona, 22
Catriona, 22 (Edd Dracott/PA)

Question: How will you adjust your attitude to women now you are holding the most powerful office in the world?

Why this question?

Donald Trump’s approach to women, to me, has been one of the most upsetting elements of his campaign and I’m so worried about how it’s going to alter now he’s in a position of such influence. I want him to turn it around.

Do you think it’s likely Theresa May will ask this question?

No, I don’t think it is, I’m afraid. She’s probably going to have more important things on her plate like setting up a nice, juicy trade deal for us, which I understand. I think she said recently she wouldn’t be afraid to point out things like that, though, so maybe she will – in the coffee break, perhaps.

Tom, 22 – Ancient history

Tom, 22, Ancient History MA
Tom, 22 (Edd Dracott/PA)

Question: What mythical creature would you be and why?

Why this question?

I want to delve into the mind of Donald Trump and see who he would represent himself as in the mythical world, to see if it’s a reflection of him as a politician.

Potentially, I think he would be the hydra because he’s always posing as different characters on screen and going back on what he says, much like the multifaceted head of the hydra, which once defeated gets back up and rises again – like he did in the election.

Do you think it’s likely Theresa May will ask this question?

It depends on her interest in the classical world, which I don’t think is strong, but a relevant question for the populace.

Tommy, 19 – History

Tommy, 19
Tommy, 19 (Edd Dracott/PA)

Question: Do you think a cabinet of men should decide women’s abortion rights?

Why this question?

I don’t think it’s correct they should choose. I think the question of abortion is a thing of the past… we’d overcome it and America already had 40 years ago, so to come back and change the legislation is a joke.

Do you think it’s likely Theresa May will ask this question?

Certainly, because it (the Mexico City Policy) was signed this week.

Anupam, 27 – Tourism, environment and development

Anupam, 27
Anupam, 27 (Edd Dracott/PA)

Question: Do you believe in climate change?

Why this question?

Because this is a new government that’s coming into power and though there may be discrepancies in Obama’s administration, he was actually a driving force at the Paris convention. The US should be the one taking initiative besides developing countries like China and India.

We’re all feeling the effects of climate change with adverse rainfall and temperatures and the trouble is it’s the poor people who will suffer. So there’s a moral and ethical reason for the US to take a positive approach towards climate change.

Do you think this is an issue Theresa May will raise?

I’m hopeful she will. There may be other problems like Brexit which are pressing right now, but I’m optimistic. There’s enough pessimism already.

Daniel, 21 – European studies

Daniel, 21
Daniel, 21 (Edd Dracott/PA)

Question: Donald, are you going to run the White House like a family business?

Why this question?

Donald has made one of his sons (his son-in-law) a special adviser to the White House. I think he’s mixing family with politics and not bringing in experts or real advisers and abusing his power.

Do you think it’s likely Theresa May will ask this question?

No, not at all.

Frances, 24 – History of art

Frances, 24
Frances, 24 (Edd Dracott/PA)

Question: How do you have the right to determine how women reproduce?

Why this question?

Because Trump’s trying to dictate how women choose to hold themselves, not only in society but how they choose to conduct their relationships. I think it’s really unfair as he’s never experienced what it is to be a woman and what it means… that he should choose how we procreate and reproduce.

I saw a picture shared online of Trump signing a document on abortion with the words “as long as you live you will never see a woman signing legislation about what men can do with their reproductive organs” – and that resonated with me.

Do you think it’s likely Theresa May will ask this question?

I hope so, because in our country we have lot more free will to do what we want, so how can we negotiate with a country which is trying to stop people’s free will and choice?

Gustav, 21 – Religion and politics

Gustav, 21
Gustav, 21 (Edd Dracott/PA)

Question: Are your trade policies sustainable?

Why this question?

Well, it seems like a very aggressive move to take the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership very shortly into his term. I think it seems aggressive and threatening to business, which isn’t in line with his usual speech on believing in helping business.

To interfere with the way businesses are run seems like a backtrack and it would be interesting to know if this is the sort of process we can continually expect.

Do you think it’s likely Theresa May will ask this question?

Yes, I think it’s more relevant than a lot of other questions – I think she should.

Emmanuelle, 18 – Liberal arts

Emmanuelle, 18
Emmanuelle, 18 (Edd Dracott/PA)

Question: What will you actually do about climate change?

Why this question?

I live in London and the pollution is freaking me out and I feel like no-one really talks about it. I feel that even though a lot of good movements, like the one on women’s rights happening at the moment, I feel no-one talks about climate change.

Do you think it’s likely Theresa May will ask this question?

I don’t think she will. In a perfect world, she should.

Sam, 21 – French and German

Sam, 21
Sam, 21 (Edd Dracott/PA)

Question: Where has the LGBT page on the White House page gone?

Why this question?

My friend told me about it yesterday and it seems like a bizarre-but-underhand move from Trump, where he’s professed to be in many ways LGBT-friendly. But actually it’s these little actions which worry me, where he’s chipping away at it in a less public light – or not in speeches at least.

Do you think it’s likely Theresa May will ask this question?

I don’t think so. I don’t think it’s one of the crucial issues at the moment because it’s underhand and not out in the open. Hopefully if it becomes a bigger issue, she will say something.

Delia, 20 – Comparative literature

Delia, 20
Delia, 20 (Edd Dracott/PA)

Question: Seriously?

Why this question?

Well, I like to keep it abstract.

Do you think it’s likely Theresa May will ask this question?

In some way or another.

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