Donald Trump would not be welcome to address parliament during his state visit, the Commons Speaker, John Bercow, has said in an unprecedented intervention, which drew applause and cheering from MPs.
Bercow, whose role is non-political, said he could not block a state visit by the US president but would use his role as one of the three “key-holders” of Westminster Hall to prevent the Republican from addressing MPs and peers.
He said he had been particularly persuaded by what he termed Trump’s “migrant ban”, the executive order signed during the president’s first fortnight that prevented any nationals from seven Muslim countries from entering the US, including refugees.
The Speaker, who made the remarks in response to a point of order by Labour MP Stephen Doughty, inferred that Downing Street should rethink the offer of a state visit made during Theresa May’s visit to Washington. Doughty had organised an early day motion, signed by 163 MPs, calling on the Speaker to withhold permission from the government for an address to Westminster hall.
He told MPs: “We value our relationship with the US. If a state visit takes place that is way beyond the pay grade of the Speaker. However, as far as this place is concerned, I feel very strongly that our opposition to racism, and to sexism and our support for equality before the law and an independent judiciary are important considerations in the House of Commons.”
Bercow said that an address by a foreign leader…