SNP urges UK government to challenge Trump on his record

The SNP has urged the Government to challenge US President Donald Trump on his human rights record, attitude towards women and treatment of minorities when he visits the UK this week.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford called on Prime Minister Theresa May and her government to challenge Trump. Picture: PA Wire

Ian Blackford, the party’s Westminster leader, said Mr Trump - who is due to arrive in the UK on Thursday - would “regretfully” have the “red carpet rolled out”.

Mr Blackford, who had earlier asked for a debate to remember the Srebrenica genocide, said: “Anniversaries such as these should remind all of us of the dangers of extreme bigotry - the world that we live in today is a dangerous one.

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“Tomorrow, the president of the United States of America will regretfully have the red carpet rolled out for him by this Conservative Government.

“But from the public, the welcome will be far from warm.”

He said there were protests planned across Scotland and the UK against Mr Trump’s “abhorrent policies and dangerous rhetoric”, and asked: “Will the minister follow the SNP’s lead and challenge President Trump on his abysmal record on human rights, his repugnant attitude towards women and his disgusting treatment of minorities?

“Or does the minister think he will simply follow the Prime Minister’s lead and join the president hand in hand?”

Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington, responding in place of Theresa May during PMQs, disagreed, saying: “This country’s relationship with the United States of America is probably the closest between any two democracies in the West.

“It has lasted through democratic and republican presidencies alike, and through Labour and Conservative presidencies on this side of the Atlantic.”

He added: “Because of the security co-operation we have with the United States, there are UK citizens who are alive today who might well not be alive had that co-operation and information-sharing not taken place, and it is therefore right that we welcome the duly elected president of our closest ally as we shall do so tomorrow.”