Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK should be scrapped until he ends his controversial travel ban on refugees, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said today.
Last week, Prime Minister Theresa May announced that US President would be afforded a full state visit – including an audience with the Queen and addressing both Houses of Parliament – later this year.
Since the announcement, Trump has signed an Executive Order stopping all refugees from entering the US for four months, while those from Syria are banned indefinitely.
He has also put a halt on all travel from citizens from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen for 90 days.
May initially refused to comment on the ban, despite it affecting UK citizens who were born in the proscribed countries – including Olympic hero Sir Mo Farah and Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi.
Speaking on ITV’s Peston On Sunday show this morning, Jeremy Corbyn predicted the state visit might not go ahead at all, and said: “I suspect this visit might find its way into the long grass.”
He added: “Is it really right to endorse somebody who has used this awful misogynist language throughout the election campaign, awful attacks on Muslims, and then of course this absurd idea of building a wall between themselves and their nearest neighbor.”
In a statement after the show, Corbyn said: “Donald Trump should not be welcomed to Britain while he abuses our shared values with his shameful Muslim ban and attacks on refugees’ and women’s rights.
“Theresa May would be failing the British people if she does not postpone the state visit and condemn Trump’s actions in the clearest terms. That’s what Britain expects and deserves.”
Lib Dem leader Tim Farron also called for the planned visit to be canned, and said: “Any visit by President Trump to Britain should be on hold until his disgraceful ban comes to an end.
“Otherwise Theresa May would be placing the Queen in an impossible position of welcoming a man who is banning British citizens purely on grounds of their faith.”
On the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show this morning, Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi warned Trump that his ban was playing into the hands of Daesh.
The Iraq-born MP for Stratford-On-Avon added: “I don’t think I’ve felt discriminated against probably since little when school when kids were very cruel.
“For the first time in my life last night I felt discriminated against. It’s demeaning. It’s sad.”
A petition calling for the state visit to be scrapped attracted more than 34,000 signatures by 11.30am on Sunday.