John Bercow urged to let Donald Trump address Parliament for D-Day commemoration

Posted On: 
20th April 2019

Commons Speaker John Bercow has been urged to let US President Donald Trump address Parliament if he visits the UK this summer.

The Speaker has previously warned that addressing Parliament is an "earned honour".

Mr Bercow has previously hinted that he could block an address to MPs by the controversial US commander-in-chief, saying it was "not an automatic right, it is an earned honour".

But defence minister Tobias Ellwood said Britain should be allowed to "leverage" a visit by Mr Trump, who could head to the UK for a state visit this summer as part of D-Day commemorations.

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"D-Day represents the bedrock of our international relationships," Mr Ellwood told the Telegraph.

“As we pay tribute to a generation of brave veterans who sacrificed their lives to defend our values, we can reaffirm our commitment to step forward with our closest of allies and most crucially the US to defend those same values once again under threat.

"The special relationship matters. It is greater than any one individual, however controversial.

"So we should leverage the US President’s state visit, including the opportunity to formally address Parliament."

More than two years into his time at the White House, President Trump has not yet made a state visit to the UK.

His predecessors Barack Obama and George W Bush both made formal trips during their stints in office - with President Obama giving a speech to MPs in Westminster Hall in 2011.

Former Navy chief Lord West of Spithead told the Telegraph that it would be an "absolute disgrace" for Mr Bercow to prevent the current occupant of the White House from doing the same.

"The US and Britain saved Europe from a very dark time in its history and without America we would not have beaten the Nazis," he said.

"Many Americans gave their lives on D-Day and beyond, and it would be disgraceful not to allow President Trump to speak.

"He is the elected US president, he is representing the US in that context, they are a key part of Nato and our most important ally."