By Lamiat Sabin and Peter Lazenby in Britain:
Monday 30th January 2017
THERESA MAY was urged yesterday to cancel Donald Trump’s state visit to Britain in response to the US president’s Islamophobic ban on refugees and nationals of several Muslim countries entering the US.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Lib Dem leader Tim Farron and SNP foreign affairs spokesman Alex Salmond all called on the Prime Minister to scrap the plans to roll out the red carpet for the billionaire bigot later this year.
Thousands of demonstrators are planning to protest against the ban, which applies to visitors to the US from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, outside Downing Street and across the country today from 6pm.
A march organised by a coalition of groups including Stand Up To Racism and the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) is planned for outside the US embassy next Saturday.
Mr Corbyn told ITV’s Peston On Sunday: “I am not happy with him coming here until that ban is lifted, quite honestly.”
Westminster could debate the visit after a petition on the Parliament website topped half a million signatures by yesterday evening.
Graham Guest, who started the petition, said that he fears Mr Trump will use the visit and the accompanying photo opportunities with royalty to bolster his image and to “legitimise his presidency.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim mayor of a major Western city, also demanded that Mr Trump’s visit be cancelled over the “cruel and shameful ban.”
MCB — the UK’s largest Muslim umbrella group — has called on the government to “stand up for British values” in speaking out against the ban.
It said the barring of Muslims would not help tackle terrorism, but rather was imposed to “placate the most hateful sections of American society.”
MCB general secretary Harun Khan said: “This ban on Muslims is not only an inconvenience, it is downright dangerous to our values of equality and non-discrimination.
“Our government should express in no uncertain terms how daft this policy is to its US counterparts and press home how counterproductive it is in its professed fight to confront terrorism.
“As an important ally of the United States, surely we have a duty to remind them of the values they were founded upon.”
After initially saying that the ban was simply a matter for the US, No 10 said Ms May does not agree with the policy and would act to help British citizens who would be affected.
Protests erupt at US airports condemning Trump’s travel ban: here.
With protests taking place in the US and throughout the world, May was forced into an abrupt U-turn after initially refusing to comment on Trump’s edict banning Muslims from entering the US: here.