US presidential candidate Donald Trump was dubbed a “buffoon”, “demagogue” and “wazzock” by British MPs for his controversial views on Muslims, but a lively debate in parliament ended with a consensus not to ban him from entering the country.
The debate was prompted by more than half a million people signing a petition seeking to ban Trump’s entry into Britain. Among the most forceful MPs favouring such a ban were those from Scotland, where Trump has large investments.
“We do not need a crystal ball to recognise that the person we are dealing with is not only a successful businessman, but a buffoon, and he has the dangerous capability of saying the most obscene or insensitive things to attract attention,” said Gavin Robinson.
According to Alex Chalk, “buffoonery should be met not with the blunt instrument of a ban, but with the classic British response of ridicule”.
Victoria Atkins described Trump’s policy to close borders, if he is elected president, as “bonkers”.
She added: “If he met one or two of my constituents in one of the many excellent pubs in my constituency, they may well tell him that he is a wazzock for dealing with the issue in that way.”
The word “wazzock” is an insult used to refer to a daft or annoying person.
Tulip Siddiq called Trump a “poisonous, corrosive man” and said: “We are not talking about just any man. This is a man with an extremely high profile who has been involved in the American show-business industry for years—a man who is now interviewing for the most important job in the world.
“His words are not comical. His words are not funny. His words are poisonous and risk inflaming tensions between vulnerable communities.”
Speaking for the government, minister James Brokenshire said: “The government have a long-standing policy of not routinely commenting on those who are being considered for exclusion for sound legal reasons, and I will maintain that position this evening. However, what I can say is that the US remains our most important bilateral partner.”
He added: “It is in the UK’s interest that we engage all presidential candidates – Democratic and Republican – even though we may disagree profoundly on important issues.
“Where there are clear differences of opinion, the most effective way to influence our American partners is through a frank and open exchange of views in taking on those arguments. Today’s robust debate has provided a platform to do just that.”
Brokenshire reiterated comments by Prime Minister David Cameron and chancellor George Osborne that Trump’s comments were “nonsense” but the best way to defeat them was to engage in a debate and make it clear that his views are not welcome.