Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman has joined calls for the Government to cancel a planned state visit by US president Donald Trump.
In a Commons question, the veteran Labour MP urged Home Secretary Amber Rudd to scrap the visit in light of the president’s “recent behaviour.”
Mr Trump had re-tweeted anti-Muslim videos posted online by far-right organisation Britain First and responded directly to Prime Minister Theresa May’s assertion – originally made through her official spokesman – that his re-tweets had been wrong.
In a trademark tweet, he wrote:
.@Theresa_May, 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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 30, 2017
Politicians and commentators from all sides criticised the president for his comments.
Brendan Cox, the husband of Batley & Spen MP Jo Cox, who was murdered by Thomas Mair as he shouted “Britain first”, praised politicians and media figures for criticising Mr Trump, tweeting:
Can’t remember the last time everyone from @jeremycorbyn to @theresa_may, @DanielJHannan to @HackneyAbbott, @OwenJones84 to @piersmorgan , has been on the same side. Thanks @realDonaldTrump for reminding us that we have #moreincommon and no time for hatred.— Brendan Cox (@MrBrendanCox) November 30, 2017
Mr Sheerman told the Commons that Mr Trump did not speak for America and had betrayed America’s traditional values.
Demanding that plans for the state visit should be cancelled, he said: “Retweeting videos from a far-right group and then publicly attacking the Prime Minister on Twitter must surely be the last straw.
“As I said in the chamber, I once lived and worked in America and still have my green card, and my many American friends have been sharing their dismay at Trump. He doesn’t speak for America and should not be afforded a state visit to this country, where it looks likely he would face enormous protests.”
The Home Secretary responded: “I am a great admirer of America and like (Mr Sheerman) I have friends that have different views to the president.”
She said no date had been agreed yet for a state visit.