Nearly two million people have signed an online petition to get the UK state visit cancelled.
The Speaker of the House of Commons has announced that Donald Trump will not be welcome to address Parliament during his UK state visit, due to their opposition to racism and sexism. The Speaker, John Bercow, stated that he was “strongly opposed” to the President speaking in the Commons, expressing his firm opinions that being invited to address Parliament was “not an automatic right” but “an earned honour”, according to latest reports. Bercow told the MPs that, “Before the imposition of the migrant ban I would myself have been strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall. After the imposition of the migrant ban by President Trump I am even more strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall.” He went on to conclude, “I would not wish to issue an invitation to President Trump to speak in the Royal Gallery.”
After his speech, he received a rare and spontaneous applause from part of the Commons, who were in great support of his viewpoint on the matter. However, this occurrence has been said to be the cause of conflicting opinions in Downing Street, after Theresa May has been working hard to regain a “special relationship with the US”. Following Bercow’s statement, Veteran Labour MP Dennis Skinner responded by saying, “Further to that point of order: two words: well done. We value our relationship with the United States. If a state visit takes place, that is way beyond and above the pay grade of the Speaker. However, as far as this place is concerned I feel very strongly that our opposition to racism and to sexism and our support for equality before the law and an independent judiciary are hugely important considerations in the House of Commons.”
President Trump’s invite to make a state visit to the UK was given by Theresa May during her recent visit to the US. She has since claimed that he would be flying to Britain before the end of the year. Despite the support and encouragement of the Prime Minister, many other political leaders are also against the visit. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, together with many others, have expressed their views that the visit should be canceled until the “Muslim ban” is lifted. Reports have claimed that the UK state visit is bringing up numerous other issues for the President’s team to worry about, with hopes that a meeting with Prince Charles will be avoided, due to the potential conflict over the Prince’s environmental campaigning.
The stance of Speaker John Bercow surprised many, as his post is politically neutral. Although he was previously a Conservative MP before he was elected as Speaker of the House of Commons, he then gave up any party affiliation once he began in his new position. An online petition was set up that called for President Trump’s visit to be canceled just days after it was announced. As the petition immediately ranked up thousands of shares across social media platforms, the petition has since received nearly two million signatures. MPs will debate the issue in Westminster Hall.
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