She may be resigning as Britain’s prime minister on Friday, but Theresa May seems keen to go down fighting.
Despite greeting Melania Trump with a warm handshake outside Downing Street this morning, Mrs May failed to offer her hand to the President – a ‘subtle but powerful act of rebellion’ according to body language expert Judi James.
Meanwhile Donald Trump was eager to show he is ‘in charge’ with ’emphatic gesticulations’ and a ‘power pat’ on the PM’s back as they entered Number 10.
Fellow expert Robin Kermode observed that both their partners – Philip May and Melania Trump – appeared ‘more relaxed than most ordinary people do in their wedding photos’.
The US President and First Lady met with the Prime Minister and her husband Philip for a meeting on day two of the official state visit – hours after Mr Trump urged outgoing Mrs May to ‘stick around’ and do a ‘substantial’ post-Brexit trade deal.
Donald Trump was keen to show he is ‘in charge’ with ’emphatic gesticulations’ and a ‘power pat’ on the PM’s back as they entered Number 10, according to body language expert Judi James
Body language expert Robin Kermode observed that Philip May and Melania Trump, pictured at the Downing Street garden party while their other halves conducted an official meeting, appeared ‘more relaxed than most ordinary people do in their wedding photos’
Judi told FEMAIL: ‘Mrs May’s failure to offer her hand to shake Trump’s after having shaken Melania’s could be a subtle but powerful act of rebellion and possible rejection as she prepares to leave office.’
She added: ‘Mrs May does her best to look upbeat and jolly here, but the whole elongated greeting ritual with the Trumps is awkward and poorly choreographed.’
Judi said Mr Trump came across as if he felt he was ‘touched with some regal stardust’ as he posed for photographs outside Downing Street.
‘He dominates the poses and the action using the old political trick of being the one using the emphatic gesticulation, forcing the others to go into a listening and more compliant mode,’ she explained.
‘His measuring hand, beach ball hand and lidded hand gestures make it look as though he’s explaining something firmly and with authority, while his erect thumbs suggest he’s enjoying the moment too.
Judi said the whole elongated greeting ritual with the Trumps was ‘awkward and poorly choreographed’
Mrs May shook Melania’s hand but failed to offer the same courtesy to the President – a ‘subtle but powerful act of rebellion’ according to Judi
‘His power-pat on Mrs May’s back as she enters her own home also implies he’s in charge.’
Robin Kermode likened the US President to comedian Michael McIntyre ‘on a public appearance’.
‘Even when Donald’s arms are down, there is some tension in his right hand and forefinger showing a level of control,’ he added. ‘Mr Trump is big on hand usage. At one point, Mr Trump holds a no-nonsense, palms down stance and Mrs May looks slightly resigned at this stage.
‘His shoulders are back and down and the wrist is protruding forward, showing some signs of wanting to control.’
Trump’s measuring hand, beach ball hand and lidded hand gestures make it look as though he’s explaining something firmly and with authority, while his erect thumbs suggest he’s enjoying the moment too, says Judi
Philip and Melania enjoyed a garden party at Downing Street as their other halves went off for a meeting
Robin said Philip ‘looks like he’s having a blast’, likening him to ‘the groom at his own wedding’, while Melania looked ‘completely in control’
Speaking about Mr May and Mrs Trump, Robin said: ‘Philip looks like he’s having a blast. He looks like the groom at his own wedding. Everything is relaxed and all his smiles are genuine.
‘Mrs Trump looks completely in control. A strange coupling perhaps, but these odd bedfellows seem to be getting on like a house on fire.’
Robin did note a few occasions where the president ‘took the PM genuinely by surprise’ and made her laugh.
‘Of course, as Mrs May is outgoing, there is less pressure on building a rapport for future relations,’ he added.
Mrs May will quit as Tory leader on Friday after being forced out by her own party for failing to deliver Brexit.
Robin said all the smiles between Philip and Melania seemed genuine, as the pair appeared to get on ‘like a house on fire’
Body language expert Robin Kermode likened the US President to comedian Michael McIntyre ‘on a public appearance’
Even when Sir Donald’s arms are down, there is some tension in his right hand and forefinger showing a level of control, Robin noted
Judi said Mr Trump dominates the poses and the action using the old political trick of being the one using the emphatic gesticulation, forcing the others to go into a listening and more compliant mode
The president, who has criticised Mrs May for not pursuing No Deal or taking his advice to sue the EU, hinted that negotiations between the two nations could be close to completion within a ‘few weeks’.
Addressing her at a breakfast meeting at St James’s Palace this morning, the leader of the free world said: ‘I don’t know exactly what your timing is but stick around, let’s do this deal, ok?’
Mr Trump’s ‘good friend’ Boris Johnson, who he said would do a ‘good job’, is favourite to take over as PM ahead of Michael Gove, who will meet the President later today.
Last month Mr Trump said he was ‘feeling very badly’ for the outgoing Prime Minister, having called her a ‘very strong woman’ the day after she announced her resignation.
Body language expert Robin Kermode suggested Theresa May and Donald Trump are not under pressure to strike up a rapport due to her impending departure from Number 10
Robin observed that Philip May and Melania Trump appeared more relaxed than most ordinary people do in their wedding photos
Mrs May’s official gift to the president today will remind him of the value of preserving international trade and diplomacy.
In a pointed gesture, the Prime Minister will hand Mr Trump a copy of the 1941 Atlantic Charter, which is widely seen as paving the way for the creation of the United Nations and the post-war international settlement.
The document, agreed by Winston Churchill and President Franklin D. Roosevelt, is regarded as one of the most significant steps in setting up the transatlantic ‘special relationship’.
It specifically calls for the two countries to ‘endeavour to further’ the liberalisation of trade, whereas Mr Trump has ignited trade wars with China and Mexico.
Meanwhile anti-Donald Trump protesters gathered in London today to demonstrate against the US President with up to 250,000 people expected at a ‘carnival of resistance’ that saw the infamous 20ft blimp launched again.
Organisers wearing red jumpsuits and hats marked ‘Trump Babysitters’ launched the inflatable to cheers from dozens of onlookers at Parliament Square, where nearby roads were sealed off and police were standing guard.
Demonstrators from the Stand Up To Trump and Stop Trump groups congregated for a rally also featuring a speech by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who snubbed last night’s state banquet at Buckingham Palace.
Mayor Sadiq Khan has let the coalition of hard-Left activists and campaigners lampoon Mr Trump with an 16ft robot tweeting on a gold toilet and a 20ft baby blimp which also appeared during his previous visit in July 2018.
Robin Kermode is author of the best-selling book Speak So Your Audience Will Listen, available here.