Donald Trump could still be issued with an invitation to address parliament during a state visit to the UK after officials revealed that a room in the House of Lords remains an option.
A spokesperson told the Guardian that the US president could be asked to speak in a second “prestigious venue” in parliament despite John Bercow’s extraordinary warning on Monday that he would block any Trump speech in Westminster Hall.
They pointed to remarks made earlier on Tuesday by the Lord Speaker, who insisted he would keep an “open mind” if a request was made, whatever had been said in the House of Commons.
A spokesperson representing Lord Fowler, who is also charged with issuing invitations to speak in parliament, said: “The Royal Gallery might be a possibility. The Royal Gallery is a prestigious venue and has hosted guests in the past including President Reagan.”
Bercow can block a speech being made from Westminster Hall, from where President Obama spoke, but he has made clear he has less say over the Royal Gallery. Sources confirmed that Lord Fowler could allow a speech to go ahead there if he decided it was appropriate.
It comes as Bercow faces a fierce backlash from Conservative MPs and peers who are calling on him to consider his position as Speaker after he took the unprecedented step of voicing his opposition to Trump.
His comments – that the US president’s “racism and sexism” made him unfit to address parliament – won plaudits from Labour and…