MPs back John Bercow's call for Donald Trump to be blocked from addressing Parliament

The Speaker's remarks are unprecedented 

Tom Batchelor
Monday 06 February 2017 21:07 GMT
John Bercow 'strongly opposed' to Donald Trump address to Parliament

MPs from across the political divide have voiced their support for Speaker John Bercow after he spoke out against Donald Trump addressing Parliament.

In an extraordinary piece of political rhetoric in the Commons, Mr Bercow said he would not be inviting the US President to speak to the House because of its opposition to "racism and sexism".

“Before the imposition of the migrant ban I would myself have been strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall,” Mr Bercow said. “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 remarks are unprecedented for a Speaker as parliamentary rules state the role must remain politically impartial.

But MPs from across the House added their voices to his call for the Republican billionaire to be blocked from speaking.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted: “Well said John Bercow. We must stand up for our country's values. Trump's State Visit should not go ahead.”

Former deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman said it was a “proud moment for Commons. Racism and sexism not welcome here.”

Rosena Allin-Khan, who replaced London Mayor Sadiq Khan in his Tooting seat, called it a “bold and brave move”.

Thousands march in protest over Theresa May's Donald Trump invitation

Tory MP Sarah Wollaston also said Mr Bercow was “quite right” to express his views on a ban.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron responded: "This is the right decision by The Speaker.

"The Prime Minister might wish to kowtow to the nasty misogynist that now sits in the Oval Office but no-one else does. We do not want him to speak to us. He is not welcome.”

The SNP’s Tasmina Sheikh said Mr Bercow had demonstrated “much needed leadership, where the UK Government have been so woefully lacking”.

Veteran MP Dennis Skinner speaking after Mr Bercow’s statement said: “Further to that point of order: two words: well done.”

But Ukip’s former leader Nigel Farage was less enthusiastic about Mr Bercow's remarks. “For Speaker Bercow to uphold our finest parliamentary traditions, he should be neutral,” the avowed Trump supporter said.

A Downing Street spokesperson said: "We look forward to welcoming the President to the UK later this year. The dates and arrangements for the state visit will be worked out in due course."

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