Trump should not be allowed to address British parliament: MPs

London, Jan 31 (IANS) Politicians in the British House of Commons made moves on Tuesday to stop US President Donald Trump from addressing parliament during his state visit to Britain.

So far, more than 70 of 650 Members of Parliament (MPs) have signed a motion as part of a process to win parliamentary backing for a ban, Xinhua reported.

MPs were calling for the invitation by Prime Minister Theresa May to President Trump to be withdrawn, following his decision to introduce travel bans to the US from seven Muslim-majority countries.

May has insisted the invitation to President Trump still stands. May gave her first public comment on Monday on the controversy during a visit to Dublin.

“The United States is a close ally of the United Kingdom. We work together across many areas of mutual interest and we have that special relationship between us. I have issued that invitation for a state visit for President Trump to the United Kingdom and that invitation stands.”

Previous formal visits to Britain by US Presidents have included them addressing MPs and members of the House of Lords. The last US President to address the British parliament was Barack Obama.

The motion tabled at Westminster on Tuesday called on parliament to deplore Trump’s executive order on immigration and refugees.

It asked the speakers of both the House of Commons and the House of Lords and other parliament officials to withhold permission from the government for an address to be made in Westminster Hall, or elsewhere in the Palace of Westminster, by President Trump.

Thousands of people gathered outside Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament to protest Trump’s actions. Protests also took place in around 40 British cities.

By Tuesday, a public petition to parliament saying Trump should not be allowed to pay a state visit to Britain had gathered around 1.7 million signatures.

But a counter petition saying Trump should be invited to make an official state visit had gathered more than 100,000 signatures.

–IANS

ahm/bg

Top