London mayor blasts Trump, encourages UK government to deny state visit

Ahead of an official state visit scheduled later this year, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has stated the UK should deny President Donald Trump the courtesies extended to a foreign dignitary for his expected trip to London in late 2017.

A state visit includes an audience with Queen Elizabeth II and a stay at the queen’s official residence, Buckingham Palace.

Denouncing Mr. Trump’s immigration policies, Khan told ITV’s Peston on Sunday:

“I love America, I love Americans and I believe the special relationship is a good one and one that’s here to stay. But when you’re mates with somebody, when you’ve got a special relationship, of course you are side-by-side with them in times of adversity but when they are wrong you call them out.”

Khan added the UK should not be “rolling out the red carpet” in light of Trump’s “cruel and shameful” moratorium on travelers and refugee seekers.

Days after his inauguration, on Jan. 27, Mr. Trump signed an executive order temporarily prohibiting entry to travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries and blocking Syrian refugee seekers for a period of 120 days.  Trump stated at the time the order was necessary to secure America.

A New York federal judge blocked the deportation of refugees and on Feb. 3, Seattle District Court Judge James Robart suspended the White House order.  The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals later upheld Robart’s decision.

Khan’s comments come in concert with heated debate on the floor of the House of Commons Monday and growing debate among the public in the UK over whether Mr. Trump should be treated to a state visit.  Thousands of demonstrators gathered in Parliament Square Monday evening demanding MPs deny the U.S. president.

Opposition and Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn (MP Islington North) has asked for Mr. Trump’s visit to be postponed.  Most Labour MPs expressed favoring a diplomatic snub, but a handful of Tory MPs argued denying a state visit to Mr. Trump would injure relations between the two nations.

A cross section of Tory MPs recommended the invitation to Trump be delayed until 2020.

Two petitions circulating the country have earned over 1 million signatures.  One online petition in opposition to treatment for a state visit for Mr. Trump has earned over 1.8 million signatures; a petition backing a state visit has received over 300,000 signatures.

In Parliament, Tory Speaker John Bercow of Buckingham voiced his opposition to Mr. Trump addressing the House of Commons.

Although debate has persisted since Prime Minister Theresa May extended the invitation to the president in January, a spokesman of May’s said plans will go ahead for Mr. Trump to visit.

No official date for President Trump’s trip has been set by 10 Downing Street.

 

[AP] [RT UK] [BBC] [Photo courtesy Getty Images via BBC]