A motion was signed by 163 House of Commons MPs, including Indian-origin legislators, seeking to bar US President Donald Trump from addressing parliament when he comes visiting later this year, while women MPs have declared they would boycott his address.
Trump has accepted an invitation by Prime Minister Theresa May to visit Britain, prompting a welter of protests across the political spectrum. May has stood by her invitation, though no date has yet been fixed.
An online petition to prevent the visit is nearing the two-million mark of signatories.
The early day motion, initiated by Labour MP Stephen Doughty, has attracted one of the highest number of signatories. Signed mostly by Labour and Scottish National Party MPs, the signatories include Virendra Sharma, Keith Vaz and Valerie Vaz.
The motion says: “That this House deplores recent actions taken by US President Donald J Trump, including his Executive Order on Immigration and Refugees, and notably his comments on torture and women; notes the historical significance and honour that comes with an invitation to address both Houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall or elsewhere in the Palace of Westminster; and calls on the Speaker, Lord Speaker, Black Rod and Serjeant at Arms to withhold permission from the Government for an address to be made in Westminster Hall, or elsewhere in the Palace of Westminster, by President Trump.”
A group of Labour’s most senior women MPs vowed to stage a mass “no show” at Westminster if Trump is invited to address both Houses of Parliament during the visit. The party’s former deputy leader Harrier Harman said his views on women and a number of other issues were “appalling”.
“I could not be there clapping a man who is a self-confessed groper,” she told the 'Observer'. “His views on many issues are unacceptable. And on foreign policy he seems to think he can just bully other countries and get his way. That we should sit there smiling and clapping is... well for me it is out of the question.”
Former cabinet minister Yvette Cooper said: “The idea that we are all going to sit in parliament and listen to a man who is turning the clock back on democracy, pushing misogyny and hatred of Muslims is a joke.
“We’ve fought for equality for decades and we certainly shouldn’t be honouring someone at the heart of British democracy who wants to rip those democratic values up”.
“Parliament has to show a bit of muscle on this and not just roll over because Theresa May sent out an embarrassing invitation to Trump in a desperate rush,” Cooper added.