A UK visit from a President would typically include an appointment at Buckingham Palace, maybe a dinner at Kensington Palace and a visit to the Houses of Parliament, where foreign leaders from Angela Merkel to Barack Obama, have addressed the MPs.
It seems, however, that the invitation doesn’t stand for Donald Trump.
The Speaker at the House of Commons, John Bercow, announced on Monday that Donald Trump would not be welcome, describing him as unfit to address the MPs.
‘An address by a foreign leader to both Houses of Parliament is not an automatic right, it is an earned honour’, explained The Speaker. ‘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.’
He continued: ‘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.’
The Speaker concluded by saying: ‘As far as this place is concerned, I feel very strongly that our opposition to racism and to sexism and our support to equality before the law and an independent judiciary are hugely important considerations in the House of Commons.’
The original point of order was made by Labour MP, Stephen Doughty, who had called on officials not to give permission for the President to address Westminster Hall.
Speaking about the overwhelming reaction, Doughty explained, ‘I am delighted that the Speaker has listened to members from across the House regarding our deep concerns that Donald Trump not be honoured with an address in Westminster Hall or elsewhere in the Palace of Westminster, after his comments and actions on women, torture, refugees and the judiciary.’