UK Speaker says no to Trump addressing Parliament, citing 'opposition to racism and to sexism'

The speaker of Britain's lower house of parliament says he will not support any plans for US President Donald Trump to address parliament during a state visit planned for later this year, citing Trump's temporary immigration ban as a factor.
In a still image taken from footage broadcast by the UK Parliamentary Recording Unit (PRU) on February 6, 2017 Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow responds to a point of order from Labour politician Stephen Doughty on the state visit of US Pr
In a still image taken from footage broadcast by the UK Parliamentary Recording Unit (PRU) on February 6, 2017 Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow responds to a point of order from Labour politician Stephen Doughty on the state visit of US President Donald Trump to the UK during a session of the House of Commons in London on February 6, 2017. Mr Bercow said he would be opposed to Mr Trump addressing the Houses of Parliament during his state visit to the UK.PHOTO: AFP/PRU

LONDON - In an unprecedented move, Britain's Speaker of Parliament has said US President Donald Trump will not be welcome to speak to MPs in parliament during his state visit.

Mr John Berkow said while he could not prevent Prime Minister Theresa May from inviting the American leader to visit the UK, he would prevent him from addressing parliament.

Mrs May had extended an invitation to Mr Trump after he hosted her as the first visiting foreign leader to the US last month.

Lawmakers have spoken up against the upcoming state visit, especially in light of Mr Trump's travel ban on citizens of seven countries with a Muslim-majority population to the US.

On Monday, Mr Berkow told parliamentarians that Mr Trump's "migrant ban" was the main reason for his objection. He was responding to opposition Labour MP Stephen Doughty who organised a motion signed by 163 MPs asking Mr Berkow not to let Mr Trump address the House of Commons.

"We value our relationship with the US," said Mr Berkow in parliament on Monday. "However, as far as this place is concerned, I feel very strongly that our opposition to racism, and to sexism and our support for equality before the law and an independent judiciary are important considerations in the House of Commons."

Mr Bercow added that a parliamentary speech by a foreign leader during a state visit was "not an automatic right, it is an earned honour".

A source told The Guardian newspaper that Mr Trump is likely to be less interested in addressing the House and more interested in "high-visibility visits with key members of the royal family".