Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow says that Donald Trump will not be allowed to addressed Parliament. He said the House of Commons was opposed to “racism and to sexism and our support for equality before the law and an independent judiciary” and that Trump had not earned the right.
Trump was invited to make a state visit by Prime Minister Theresa May.
Watch Bercow’s remarks courtesy of the BBC:
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) February 6, 2017
“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. Moreover there are many precedents for state visits to take place to our country which do not include an address to both houses of Parliament.
“The second point is in relation to Westminster Hall there are three keyholders to Westminster Hall, the Speaker of the Commons, the Speaker of the House of Lords and the Lord Great Chamberlain – ordinarily we are able to work by consensus and the hall would be used for a purpose such as an address…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.
“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.”
His words were greeted with applause. The Independent reports that,
Veteran Labour MP Dennis Skinner, speaking after Mr Bercow’s statement said: “Further to that point of order: two words: well done.” And Labor MP Harriet Harman tweeted her own approval of Bercow’s actions:
Speaker Bercow just cancelled Trump visit to parliament. A proud moment for Commons. Racism and sexism not welcome here.
— Harriet Harman (@HarrietHarman) February 6, 2017
Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, had even stronger words, tweeting,
Well said John Bercow. We must stand up for our country’s values. Trump’s State Visit should not go ahead. https://t.co/nd9NWpwCeY
— Jeremy Corbyn MP (@jeremycorbyn) February 6, 2017
Trump’s state visit will go ahead, but perhaps since he cannot address Parliament, he can play golf instead, since he feels he should be able to do this and President Obama not, and catch a glimpse of the rising sea levels while he is at it.
It’s for his own good, really. Let’s face it, he would only embarrass himself like he did for Black History Month. Where Trump is concerned, the less said the better.