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Petition fails to stop green light for state visit of Trump

By Staff Reporter

The Government has insisted Donald Trump will be extended the "full courtesy" of a state visit to Britain later this year, despite a 1.85-million strong petition calling for it to be abandoned.

Downing Street said Theresa May yesterday afternoon spoke by telephone with the US president - whose administration has been rocked by the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Earlier, the Foreign Office rejected the petition calling for Mr Trump's trip later this year to be downgraded, stripping it of the trappings of a state visit.

In a statement, it said the Government "recognises the strong views expressed by the many signatories of this petition, but does not support this petition".

Support for the call to downgrade the visit of Mr Trump because it would be "embarrassing" for the Queen snowballed after he imposed a travel ban on nationals from seven mainly Muslim countries.

The Government was compelled to reply to the petition because it garnered more than 10,000 signatures.

MPs will debate it in the House of Commons on Monday alongside a rival 300,000-strong petition in support of the state visit after they both reached the 100,000 signatures threshold to be considered for discussion in Parliament.

Responding to the anti-state visit petition, the Foreign Office statement said: "HM Government believes the President of the United States should be extended the full courtesy of a state visit.

"We look forward to welcoming President Trump once dates and arrangements are finalised. HM Government recognises the strong views expressed by the many signatories of this petition, but does not support this petition."

Meanwhile, outgoing Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has warned ministers must make extra resources available for policing the visit, which is expected to trigger mass protests.

The backlash against the visit has also caused controversy in Parliament, where Commons Speaker John Bercow is facing calls to resign after branding Mr Trump "racist" and "sexist" and effectively banning him from addressing MPs and peers in Westminster Hall during the trip.

Belfast Telegraph


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