The U.K. Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow has expressed opposition to allowing President Donald Trump to speak before Parliament following his executive order placing a temporary travel ban on citizens from Muslim-majority countries. U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May had invited Trump for a diplomatic visit during her visit to Washington D.C.
On Feb. 6, Bercow spoke before Parliament, responding to a motion supported by 163 of his colleagues urging for Trump to be denied a speaking slot during his visit to the U.K., CNN reports.
Bercow asserted that the Trump administration's travel ban violated British values, and that he would have had reservations about allowing Trump to speak before Parliament even if the controversial executive order had not been issued.
"Before the imposition of the migrant ban I would have myself have been strongly opposed to an address by President Trump at Westminster Hall," Bercow said. "After the imposition of the migrant ban, I am even more strongly opposed."
The Speaker of the House of Commons added that any speaking slot afford to "a foreign leader to both Houses of Parliament is not an automatic right, it is an earned honor."
Bercow concluded that Trump's executive order was unacceptable because "our opposition to racism and to sexism and our support to equality before the law and an independent judiciary are hugely important considerations in the House of Commons."
Part of Bercow's critique referenced Trump's social media blasts against Judge James Robart, who had overturned the controversial executive order nationwide.
"The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!" Trump tweeted out on Feb. 4.
On Feb. 20, the U.K. Parliament will debate a petition calling for Trump's invitation to be retracted. The petition has accrued over 1.7 million signatures, while another petition encouraging the visit has accrued over 200,000 signatures.
May has not retracted her invitation to Trump to visit the U.K. but has condemned his executive order, USA Today reports.
"This government is clear that that policy is wrong," May stated on Feb. 1. "We wouldn't do it. We believe it is divisive and wrong."
Sources within the Trump administration told the Guardian that the president is not interested in speaking before Parliament and would prefer to spend his visit to the U.K. meeting with high-profile figures such as Queen Elizabeth II.