THE BLOG

President Trump Has Proved Himself Not Worthy Of A State Visit - Theresa May Is Right To Scrap The Offer

23/06/2017 16:00 | Updated 23 June 2017
Scott Morgan / Reuters

Back in January, I wrote a blog post discussing why President Donald Trump should not have the honour of addressing the Houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall, where we have hosted the likes of Nelson Mandela and where our own Winston Churchill lay in state. Judging by the visit's conspicuous absence from the Queen's Speech this week, his State Visit now appears to have been scrapped.

Since January, President Trump has re-affirmed my belief that not only should he be prevented from addressing Parliament in Westminster Hall, but the entire charade of a Trump State Visit should be scrapped. Indeed, over 1.8 million petition signatories on the Parliamentary Petitions website agreed.

Trump's history of denigrating women, advocating torture, demonising people because of their faith, and generally having no concern for the welfare of anyone outside of his inner circle was well known. Yet in the past months, he has continued to appall.

By pulling the United States out of the Paris Agreement early this month, Trump has shown his utter disregard for science and the wellbeing of millions globally and the planet.

Just last week, six members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS quit because the President allegedly "simply does not care". The complete lack of empathy and consideration of anything that is not squarely in his own self interest reflects the exact opposite type of person that we should want to invite to our sacred halls.

Trump has not only indirectly endangered millions through his selfish policy decisions - he directly exploited a horrific act of terror to attack the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, within mere hours of the terrible violence that left seven dead and dozens more wounded. Trump's comments were disrespectful and deeply wrong.

I have only the utmost respect for the United States of America. I have been lucky enough to visit more than half of the 50 states and meet wonderful people from coast to coast. But this President does not represent the values of, or deserve the same kind of respect I have for, those generous, optimistic, and caring Americans.

We should of course recognise the reality of his presidency and work together professionally whether in meetings, visits, or other international discussions. We clearly can not and should not ban him from the United Kingdom altogether. That is simply impractical and not a desirable situation with a country that is one of our most significant allies and friends.

But, Trump has demonstrated through his actions in recent months that he is not worthy of an official State Visit. Theresa May's judgement in even offering the visit in the first instance was totally wrong; and it is right that it is now scrapped.

Stephen Doughty is the Labour MP for Cardiff South

Comments

CONVERSATIONS