POLITICS

Nelson Mandela, Pope Benedict XVI...And Donald Trump? The Very Exclusive List Of Westminster Hall Speakers

Does Donald Trump deserve to be alongside these icons?

29/01/2017 18:43

Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK has been come under the microscope, with more than 500,000 people signing a petition calling for it to be scrapped.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is one of those who believes Trump should not get the privilege of a state visit while his controversial travel ban affecting millions of people remains in place.

One aspect of the visit which has been singled out as being unacceptable by Tory MP Sarah Wollaston is the US President giving a speech in Westminster Hall. 

The Hall is the oldest part of Parliament, and was built in 1097. It is steeped in history, hosting numerous coronation banquets and been the location for the lying in state of monarchs and national icons such as Sir Winston Churchill.

Addressing members of the Commons and the Lords in Westminster Hall is a rare privilege, and only six people have ever been awarded such an honour.

  • Albert Lebrun, President of France - March 23, 1939
    Keystone-France via Getty Images
    French President Albert Lebrun, on the far right, with (from right to left) Queen Elizabeth, Marguerite Lebrun and The King George VI on March 23 1939. Lebrun was the first foreign leader to address both Houses of Parliament when he spoke in Westminster Hall the day this photo was taken

     
  • Charles De Gaulle, President of France - April 7, 1960
    ullstein bild via Getty Images
    The second foreign leader to speak in Westminster Hall was also the second French President to do so. Charles De Gaulle. Addressing the gathered Parliamentarians in his native language, he said the "world could be saved by the wisdom and resolution of our two countries."
  • Nelson Mandela, President of South Africa - 11 July 1996
    Tim Graham via Getty Images
    South African President Nelson Mandela was the first non-French foreign leader to speak in Westminster Hall. He had previously addressed both Houses of Parliament in the Grand Committee Room in 1993.
  • Pope Benedict XVI - 17 September 2010
    AFP via Getty Images
    In a state visit in 2010, Pope Benedict XVI addressed both Houses in Westminster Hall. Among those in the audience was former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
  • Barack Obama, President of the USA - May 25, 2011
    WPA Pool via Getty Images
    Barack Obama spoke in Westminster Hall in 2011. If Donald Trump doesn't get the same platform, it will no doubt irk the new President.
  • Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese Opposition Leader - 21 June 2012
    AFP via Getty Images
    Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow (R) was among many entertained by Aung San Suu Kyi when she spoke in Westminster Hall in 2011.
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