British government rejects petition to cancel Trump’s visit
London, Feb 14 (IANS) The British government has officially rejected a petition calling for US President Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK to be cancelled.
Nearly two million people signed the petition on the official Parliament website, with the number still rising.
In a written response, the Foreign Office said that it did not agree with the request and would extend “the full courtesy of a state visit” to the controversial US President, the Independent reported on Tuesday.
The government’s statement said that it “recognises the strong views expressed by the many signatories of this petition, but does not support this petition.”
The statement added that the invitation, which Prime Minister Theresa May extended to President Trump during her visit to Washington in January, “reflects the importance of the relationship between the United States of America and the United Kingdom”.
However, the petition will still be debated by MPs in Westminster Hall.
Downing Street on Monday refused to rule out moving the state visit to Birmingham in the hope of avoiding protests. House of Commons Leader David Lidington had earlier said discussions about the visit’s many “variables” were “still ongoing”.
Activists from the Stop Trump coalition, which includes MPs from several parties, trade unions and campaigners have pledged to hold the largest anti-racism demonstration in British history no matter where the state visit is held.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called for the state visit to be cancelled until Trump’s “Muslim ban” policy was lifted, while House of Commons Speaker John Bercow said he will bar Trump from addressing the House.
The rejected petition’s text said that Trump “should not be invited to make an official state visit because it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen”.
It continued: “Donald Trump’s well documented misogyny and vulgarity disqualifies him from being received by Her Majesty the Queen or the Prince of Wales. Therefore, during the term of his presidency Donald Trump should not be invited to the United Kingdom for an official State Visit”.
The Prime Minister invited Trump to come to Britain while on her visit to Washington DC in January. She was the first world leader to officially meet Trump after his inauguration.