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".