Donald Trump

London mayor Sadiq Khan wants Trump’s state visit cancelled, over ‘shameful’ immigration policies

PUBLISHED : Monday, 20 February, 2017, 10:09am
UPDATED : Monday, 20 February, 2017, 10:14pm

US President Donald Trump should be denied a state visit to Britain due to his “cruel and shameful” immigration policies, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said Sunday.

Trump’s temporary travel ban on seven predominantly Muslim countries and his suspension of the US refugee programme justified not “rolling out the red carpet” for the president, Khan told ITV News.

The mayor’s comments came a day before lawmakers in parliament were due to debate a petition signed by 1.8 million people that calls for Trump’s trip to be downgraded from a state visit.

The petition says Trump should be allowed to enter Britain as the head of the US government but should not be invited for a state visit, which would involve a reception by Queen Elizabeth II, because “it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty”.

The government, which is obliged to respond to any petition carrying more than 10,000 signatures, has already rejected the request.

Lawmakers will also debate a counter-petition that argues Trump should indeed make a state visit to Britain “because he is the leader of a free world and the UK is a country that supports free speech and does not believe people opposed to our point of view should be gagged.”

Khan, a Muslim, has frequently lashed out at Trump for his inflammatory rhetoric about Islam and minorities, and has previous called for the state visit to be scrapped.

“I think this ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries, ending the refugee program, is cruel and it’s shameful. In those circumstances we shouldn’t be rolling out the red carpet,” he said.

The date of Trump’s first visit to Britain as president has not yet been finalized. Trump’s travel ban has been blocked by a federal appeals court, but Trump has promised to unveil a new immigration executive order next week.

The invitation was extended to Trump by Prime Minister Theresa May after just a week in office. Britain’s Press Association reported that Barack Obama received his invite after 758 days and George W Bush after 978 days.