A petition on the British parliament’s website seeking to prevent US President Donald Trump from making a state visit here garnered over 1 million signatories by Monday morning, reflecting growing resentment in the country over his recent immigration-related orders.
The petition had a few hundred signatories until Trump signed executive orders restricting the country’s refugee programme and banning citizens of seven countries. The orders affect British citizens with dual nationalities with one of the seven countries.
Downing Street rejected calls to cancel Trump’s visit later this year, saying that the invitation had been issued and accepted during last week’s visit of Prime Minister Theresa May to the US. The opposition Labour called the rejection an “appeasement” of the US.
The Foreign Office on Sunday night issued a statement after talks with US counterparts, seeking to reassure British nationals that they would not be subjected to “extreme vetting”. However, some Britons with dual nationalities reported facing problems.
Launched by Graham Guest, a solicitor from Leeds, the petition says: “Donald Trump should be allowed to enter the UK in his capacity as head of the US Government, but he should not be invited to make an official State Visit because it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen.”
“Donald Trump's well documented misogyny and vulgarity disqualifies him from being received by Her Majesty the Queen or the Prince of Wales. Therefore during the term of his presidency Donald Trump should not be invited to the United Kingdom for an official State Visit,” it adds.
Under the rules, a petition that attracts over 1 million signatures is considered for debate in parliament. Foreign secretary Boris Johnson was expected to be questioned in the House of Commons on Monday afternoon on travel problems faced by Britons.
There were also calls on the government to hold an emergency debate. Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi, who was born in Baghdad, and the former Labour leader Ed Miliband said they were calling jointly for an emergency debate on Trump’s ban on Monday.