EXCL Labour MPs demand Theresa May cancels Donald Trump state visit over 'misogynism and racism'

Posted On: 
23rd April 2019

Labour MPs will call on Theresa May to axe Donald Trump's state visit to the UK because of his "misogynism, racism and xenophobia", PoliticsHome can reveal.

Labour MPs are planning an Early Day Motion blasting the US leader.
Credit: 
PA

More than 50 MPs have already signed up to an Early Day Motion being circulated among backbenchers which urges the Prime Minister not to roll out the red carpet for the controversial US commander-in-chief, who will start a three-day trip to the UK on 3 June.

Buckingham Palace and the White House on Tuesday confirmed President Trump's visit, which will include attendance at an event in Portsmouth to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

US President Donald Trump 'to finally make state to UK visit in June'

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

Jeremy Corbyn says Brexit talks at risk because Tories want to 'do a deal with Donald Trump'

But the motion being organised by Home Affairs Committee member Stephen Doughty takes aim at the US leader's policies on immigration, comments about women - and a 2017 claim from President Trump that London mayor Sadiq Khan had done a "terrible job" in responding to terror attacks in the city.

The bid, seen by PoliticsHome, meanwhile accuses President Trump of "misogynism, racism and xenophobia", attacks his "previous comments on women, refugees and torture", and blasts his "lack of action on climate change and failure to support the Paris Climate Change Deal".

It notes the "historical significance and honour that comes with the choice to offer a full state visit to an individual" - and calls on Mrs May to "rescind the advice" to the Queen "to offer a full state visit to President Trump".

Although an EDM is seen as a largely symbolic gesture by MPs, organisers will be hoping that a strong showing will send a message to the US President and the Government that President Trump's visit will be met with resistance.

Commons Speaker John Bercow has previously suggested that he could block any attempt at a parliamentary address by the US leader, saying he was "strongly opposed" to a Westminster Hall speech by President Trump on the grounds of "opposition to racism and to sexism".

'WHIP UP HATRED'

MPs including Ealing Central and Acton's Rupa Huq, Brighton Kemptown's Lloyd Russell-Moyle and Kensington's Emma Dent-Coad are among those who have already put their name to the motion, while SNP, Lib Dem, Plaid Cymru and Green MPs are underrstood to be on board.

Mr Russell-Moyle told PoliticsHome: “A man who has been shown to whip up hatred, who has insulted the mayor of our capital and refused to recognise climate change is not a man who we should be offering a state visit to. State visits costs huge amounts, close streets and take a huge amount of policing."

Ms Huq meanwhile warned that a fresh visit by the US President would not be "conducive to good race relations in this country" and said granting him a parliamentary address would also send out "all the wrong messages".

"I want to do business with world leaders who are about building bridges not constructing walls," she told PoliticsHome.

"The Speaker John Bercow was absolutely right on this last time, and my views have not changed but hardened since then now we know what he is capable of."

The EDM came as Labour frontbencher Emily Thornberry said it "beggars belief" that the President was being offered a full state visit.

The Shadow Foreign Secretary said: "This is a President who has systematically assaulted all the shared values that unite our two countries, and unless Theresa May is finally going to stand up to him and object to that behaviour, she has no business wasting taxpayers’ money on all the pomp, ceremony and policing costs that will come with this visit."

'DEEP AND ENDURING PARTNERSHIP'

But, speaking as the visit was announced, Mrs May emphasised the importance of strong ties between the UK and the United States.

"The UK and United States have a deep and enduring partnership that is rooted in our common history and shared interests," she said.

"We do more together than any two nations in the world and we are both safer and more prosperous because of our cooperation.

"The state visit is an opportunity to strengthen our already close relationship in areas such as trade, investment, security and defence, and to discuss how we can build on these ties in the years ahead."

The White House said: "This state visit will reaffirm the steadfast and special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom. In addition to meeting the Queen, the president will participate in a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May."

FULL WORDING OF THE EARLY DAY MOTION

"That this House deplores the record of US President Donald Trump, including his misogynism, racism and xenophobia; condemns his previous comments on women, refugees and torture; condemns his lack of action on climate change and failure to support the Paris Climate Change Deal; condemns his sharing of online content related to a far-right extremist organisation in the UK; condemns his comments about the Mayor of London; and notes previous motions and debates in the House including on the withholding of the honour of a joint address to the Houses of Parliament; further notes the historical significance and honour that comes with the choice to offer a full state visit to an individual; and calls on the Prime Minister and the Government to rescind the advice to offer a full state visit to President Trump."