LONDON: British Parliament will debate on Monday whether the government should rescind its invitation to President Donald Trump for an official state visit. A petition to Parliament calling for the invite to be withdrawn has amassed more than 1.8 million signatures as of Sunday, far surpassing the 100,000 signatures needed to prompt a debate in Parliament. “He should not be invited to make an official State Visit because it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen,” the petition reads, citing Trump’s “well documented misogyny and vulgarity.” London Mayor Sadiq Khan agrees with the petition and said Sunday Trump should be denied due to his “ban on people from seven Muslim-majorities countries” and his decision to block refugees from entering the United States. “In those circumstances we shouldn’t be rolling out the red carpet,” Sadiq Khan said.
Hosted by the Queen, state visits in England are typically multi-day affairs with pomp and ceremony: They include a horse-drawn carriage ride to Buckingham Palace accompanied by senior-most regiments of the British Army, gun salutes and a formal banquet at the palace where the visiting official is feted. Prime Minister Theresa May sparked controversy for not only extending the invite to Trump, but also doing it so quickly – just days after his Jan. 20 inauguration. Of the 12 U.S. presidents to hold office during Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, only two have been received in official state visits: President George W. Bush in 2003 and President Barack Obama in 2011.