PMQs: Corbyn and May clash on Trump’s Muslim ban

Labour leader asks whether Trump gave May advanced notice


Jeremy Corbyn quizzed Theresa May at Prime Minister’s Questions on her response to Donald Trump’s travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries.

The Labour leader began by asking:

“At last week’s PMQs, the PM told the House ‘I’m not afraid to speak frankly to the President of the United States’. What happened?”

May replied she built on the US-UK relationship and secured a ‘100 per cent committment to NATO, which keeps us safe and which keeps Europe safe too’.

Corbyn then asked a good direct question about what May knew and when about the travel ban. He said:

“Let’s be clear: was the PM told about the ban during her visit and did she try to persuade President Trump otherwise?”

May replied:

‘If he’s asking me whether I had advanced notice of the ban on refugees, the answer is no. If he’s asking me if I had advanced notice of whether the order could affect British citizens, the answer is no.

If he’s asking if I had advanced notice of travel restrictions, the answer is we all did because President Trump said he would do this in his election campaign.’

This was worth knowing. Before Corbyn’s question, May also announced she would publish her white paper (draft legislation) on Brexit tomorrow.

Corbyn went on to grill the PM about whether Trump had breeched the United Nations convention on refugees. He said:

“Surely it is the responsibility of all of us to defend the 1951 refugee convention which commits this country, the US and 142 others to accept refugees without regard to their race, religion or country of origin.

President Trump has breached that convention. Why didn’t she speak out?”

May championed Britain’s help to refugees, and said Trump’s policy was ‘divisive and wrong’.

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