US president's 'racism and sexism' blasted by Commons speaker
Donald Trump’s hopes of speaking to MPs in parliament have received a blow.
House of Commons Speaker John Bercow said he was ‘strongly opposed’ to the US president visiting Westminster Hall, even before his anti-Muslim travel ban.
Bercow said parliament’s ‘opposition to racism and sexism’ and support for equality and judicial independence meant Trump should be denied the honour.
His remarks were applauded by MPs.
The speaker of the House of Commons says he would not invite President Trump to Parliament pic.twitter.com/AkKYaO7o9I
— Esther Webber (@estwebber) February 6, 2017
Here is Bercow’s statement:
“What I will say is this – an address by a foreign leader to both houses of parliament is not an automatic right, it is an earned honour. […]
I must say to the Honourable Gentleman, to all who signed his Early Day Motions and to others…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:
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“So far as the Royal Gallery is concerned…I do not perhaps have as strong a say in that matter…although customarily an invitation to a visiting leader to deliver an address there would be issued in the names of the two speakers – I would not wish to issue an invitation to President Trump.
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.”