MPs set to debate whether to ban Donald Trump from the UK

MPs will debate the petition calling for Trump to be banned from the UK on 18 January

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Indy Politics

It has been has confirmed that MPs will be given a chance to debate whether to ban Donald Trump from the UK.

The confirmation of the parliamentary debate came after almost 570,000 people signed an official online petition calling for Trump to be kept out of the country.

However, a less popular petition which urges politicians not to ban Trump will also be included in the debate, to ensure balance.

The government's Petitions Committee confirmed that a debate on the two petitions will take place in Westminster Hall on 18 January at 4:30pm, and will be chaired by Paul Flynn, the long-serving Labour MP for Newport West.

The chair of the Petitions Committee, Helen Jones MP, said: "By scheduling a debate on these petitions, the Committee is not expressing a view on whether or not the Government should exclude Donald Trump from the UK."

"As with any decision to schedule a petition for debate, it simply means that the Committee has decided that the subject should be debated." 

"A debate will allow a range of views to be expressed."

The anti-Trump petition surged in popularity after the Republican frontrunner in the race for the US presidential nomination called for a "complete shutdown" on Muslims entering the United States.

Other controversies over allegedly racist and sexist comments made by Trump meant that the petition quickly gained 100,000 signatures, the threshold that needs to be passed before the petition is considered for a parliamentary debate, according to the rules of the government's official petitions website.

The rival petition also quickly passed 10,000 signatures, meriting a response from the government, but didn't come close to the 100,000 mark.

Trump responded to the news of the petition's success by saying the signatories were ungrateful, claiming he had "done so much" for the UK and adding: "They don't know what they're getting into."