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Campaigners' fury at reports Donald Trump could hold rally in Birmingham

Campaigners opposed to Donald Trump's state visit to the UK have reacted angrily to reports he could stage a mass rally in Birmingham.

The Stop Trump Coalition, which includes Birmingham Ladywood MP Shabana Mahmood, rejected claims a ticket-only speech by the US President in the West Midlands would attract a lower level of protest than a similar event in London.

Reports in several national newspapers suggested the National Exhibition Centre could host Mr Trump - with proceeds raised by ticket sales donated to the Royal British Legion.

The Sunday Telegraph reported that a speech in the "heartland" of Brexit might offer President Trump a more sympathetic hearing as a supporter of Britain out of Europe.

Responding to the reports, Ms Mahmood said: "Birmingham is a wonderfully diverse city, home to people of every background, every faith - President Trump with his hateful and divisive rhetoric, policies and Muslim ban is not welcome here."

Labour councillor Kerry Jenkins, who represents the Hall Green area of Birmingham, said: "If these rumours are proven I will be calling on all colleagues and citizens to stand together and demonstrate, as we have done many times before in our great city when far-right politics has reared its ugly head.

"Birmingham is a diverse and tolerant city that welcomes visitors from around the world but I really hope that Donald Trump is not welcome here. He is a racist and a misogynist who is using his power to divide."

Last June's referendum saw Birmingham narrowly vote to quit the European Union - with Leave on 50.4% and Remain on 49.6%. Across the West Midlands, 59.3% of voters backed Brexit.

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