First published: February 7, 2017, 8:58 AM IST | Updated: 7 mins ago
US President Donald Trump greets British Prime Minister Theresa May as she arrives at the White House in Washington. (Image: Reuters)
London: US President Donald Trump will not be welcome to address the British Parliament on his state visit to the UK because of its opposition to racism and to sexism, the Speaker of the House of Commons said.
John Bercow, the Speaker, said late Monday that he “strongly opposed” Trump speaking in the Commons as he stressed that being invited to address Parliament was “not an automatic right” but “an earned honour”, the Independent daily reported.
“Before the imposition of the migrant ban, I would myself have been strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall,” Bercow told MPs.
“After the imposition…I am even more strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall.”
Parts of the Commons erupted into rare spontaneous applause in support of Bercow’s statement, the daily said.
The Speaker said: “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.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May invited Trump to make a state visit to the UK on her recent trip to the US last month.
Last week, nearly two million people signed a petition calling for Trump’s state visit to be cancelled in just days after it was announced.
MPs are to debate the issue in Westminster Hall.