1 million Britons don’t want Donald Trump to meet the Queen

1 million Britons don’t want Donald Trump to meet the Queen
By David Gilbert

The U.K. government says it will notbe cancelling a planned state visit by U.S. president Donald Trump later this year, despite more than 1.1 million people signing a petitiondemanding that any such invitation be withdrawn. Calls by British politicians for Prime Minister Theresa May to rescind the offer grew louder over the weekend, as the full impactof Trump’s immigration ban became clear.

Here’s what you need to know:

1 million signatures

The petition has gathered over 1 million signaturesin the space of just two days, but Downing Street saysthat it will not even consider withdrawing the invitation because it remains “substantially in the national interest.”

A government source, speaking to the BBCsaid cancelling the trip would be “a populist gesture” and would undo everything that May had achieved during her meeting with Trumpon Friday.

Any government petition that gathers over 100,000 signatures must be considered for debate in the U.K. parliament. The Commons is expectedto vote Tuesday on whether to have such a debate, while Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will give a statement in parliament Monday about the travel ban.

The petition isn’t calling to ban Trump from visiting the U.K. but aims to stop him enjoying an official state visit – visit, preventing an audience with the Queen. The petition cites Trump’s “well documented misogyny and vulgarity” as traits which should disqualify him from being accorded this privilege.

Don’t let him in

A possible state visit has drawn criticism from all sides of the political spectrum. Leader of the opposition Labour party Jeremy Corbyn has called on May to cancel the trip, accusingTrump of abusing “our shared values with his shameful Muslim ban.”

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said: “She should be standing up for British people and British interests, not going over there and tickling his tummy.” Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas said that May’s weak response “shames us all,” all” adding that the ban is an “attack on Muslims everywhere.”

A weak response

May came under pressure to condemn the ban, which was signed hours after she finished her meeting with Trump on Friday. Initially she refused to do so when asked about it during a press conference in Turkey on Saturday, but a statement issued on Sunday morning said that while the Downing Street “did not agree” with the ban, ban but that it was a “a ““a matter for the Government of the United States.”

May’s seemingly weak response to the controversial ban has not prevented some within her own party coming out strongly against the policy.

Tory MP Sarah Wollaston saidWestminister should not be ‘fawning over” Trump, who she describedas “a sickening piece of work.” Iraqi-born Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi revealedhe and his wife could not visit their sons who are attending university in the U.S. as a result of the ban. David Gauke, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, saidthe ban would help rather than hinder the rise of Islamic State group (IS).

“A massive success”

Despite widespread criticism, courts overturningparts of the ban, a partial climbdownby the White House, and waves of angry protestsat airports across the U.S., Trump’s aides have called the executive order a “massive success.”

Protests across the pond

Thousands of people are preparing to protest the ban in dozens of citiesacross the U.K. on Monday, with the largest demonstration taking place outside Downing Streetin London. There will be multiple speakers at the event, including former Labour party leader Ed Miliband, Baroness Shami Chakrabarti, activist Bianca Jagger and singer Lily Allen.

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January 30, 2017 at 01:01PM
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