American President Donald Trump will not be afforded the chance to speak at Westminster on a state visit after an extraordinary intervention by Commons Speaker John Bercow.
Earlier, almost a quarter of MP’s had signed a motion deploring Trump’s actions since taking office last month, and Bercow said he agreed that the New Yorker shouldn’t be allowed to speak at Westminster Hall.
SNP MPs led applause for former Conservative MP Bercow, who has previously chided them for clapping.
The controversial businessman has launched himself into the job at full speed as he seeks to quickly implement his populist, protectionist and nationalist agenda.
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Trump’s ban on citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries entering the US in an executive order signed last Friday sparked outrage among politicians, with Foreign Secretary Boris forced to defend the government’s decision to invite him.
Trump would be the first President in recent memory to accept an invite for a state visit in the first year of his Presidency.
Barack Obama was given the chance to address both MPs and Lords when he made a state visit in 2011.
In a statement read to parliament, Bercow said: “An address by a foreign leader to both houses of Parliament is not an automatic right, it is an earned honour.
“Before the imposition of a migrant ban I would have been strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall. After the impositon of the migrant ban I am even more strongly opposed.
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“A state visit is way beyond the pay grade of a Speaker. However as far as this place is concerned I feel very strongly that our oppiosition to racism and sexism are hugely important considerations in the House of Commons.”
The Speaker, a pointedly neutral office, cannot block a speech by a foreign leader outright. But Bercow’s decision not to approve an invite (which would normally have been sent in his name) almost certainly means President Trump won’t be given the same platform as his predecessor.