British MPs seek ban on Trump visit after neo-Nazi tweets
Susan Walsh / AP

LONDON—Theresa May should be true to her word and cancel Donald Trump’s invitation for a state visit, having declared that peddlers of hate should be banned from Britain, Members of Parliament (MPs) said yesterday.

The Labour Party’s Paul Flynn was one of many who suggested that the U.S. president be charged with inciting racial hatred on arrival to Britain after he retweeted a series of posts by far-right activist Jayda Fransen.

Widespread condemnation both in and out of Parliament has followed Trump’s sharing of anti-Muslim videos posted by Fransen, deputy leader of Britain First. Her group, best-known for social media bigotry and videoing its members harassing mosque-goers, was a major influence on Thomas Mair, who killed MP Jo Cox in June 2016.

Flynn said of Trump: “He has disgraced himself again and again and he worries us, because his impulsive finger is on the nuclear button.

“If he’s allowed to come to this country now, he should be treated as anyone else who breaks the law and charged with inciting racial hatred. The government should withdraw the invitation.”

Labour former minister Chris Bryant agreed that the U.S. president was “a repeat offender.”

He added: “You cannot stand up to this kind of action, you cannot stand up to horrible racism, or pretend to do so, and invite the man in through the front door.

“The Prime Minister, when she was home secretary, said homophobes and racists who will stir up hatred in this country will not be allowed in and, if they come to this country, they’ll be arrested.

“That’s what should happen in this case and the Home Secretary [Amber Rudd] knows it.”

Conservative Party MP Peter Bone asked Rudd if the Prime Minister could make “the world be a better place” by persuading Trump to shut down his Twitter account, which has 44 million followers.

Rudd appeared to back the suggestion by replying: “It’s interesting to note [Bone’s] advice regarding Twitter accounts—I’m sure many of us might share his view.”

Labour MP Naz Shah said May, when she was home secretary, had banned people from Britain for having “promoted organizations peddling the hate-filled ideology of fascism.”

She added: “Not only has the commander-in-tweet done this, he has defended it, publicly chastising the British Prime Minister for her comments.”

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said that Trump’s online activities were “offensive to all decent British people.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan also said May should withdraw the invitation and demand an apology on behalf of the British people.

An invitation for Trump’s state visit had been extended and accepted but the dates are yet to be agreed, Rudd said.

May stated that the president was “wrong” to retweet the videos—purportedly showing violent acts by Muslims.

At a press conference during a visit to Jordan, May said: “Britain First is a hateful organization. It seeks to spread division and mistrust among our communities.

“It stands in fundamental opposition to the values we share as a nation—values of respect, tolerance, and common British decency.”

Trump responded by berating the Prime Minister about British domestic policy, again via Tweet, saying: “Don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!”

Trump has also received criticism from the House of Lords with Labour former cabinet minister Lord Hain saying there could be no question of a state visit until Trump at least expressed some remorse.

He described Britain First as a “Nazi group with a vicious record of attacks, racism, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism.”

Morning Star


Lamiat Sabin
Lamiat Sabin

Lamiat Sabin is a news reporter and deputy news editor for Morning Star, the socialist daily newspaper published in Great Britain.