UK parliament to debate banning Donald Trump

UK parliament to debate banning Donald Trump
The UK parliament will debate on whether to ban US presidential hopeful Donald Trump from entering the country after his remarks about Muslims triggered an online petition.
2 min read
06 January, 2016
Donald Trump's racist comments stirred controversy in the UK [Getty]
British lawmakers will debate a petition calling for US presidential hopeful Donald Trump to be banned from the country over his remarks about Muslims - and a rival petition saying he should be allowed in.

More than half a million people signed an online petition calling for Trump to be blocked after he called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States.

Under British law any petition that gets 100,000 signatures must be considered for parliamentary debate.

Meanwhile, almost 40,000 people backed a petition saying he should not be barred.

The House of Commons Petitions Committee said Tuesday that both petitions would be debated on January 18.

Chairwoman Helen Jones said the debate "will allow a range of views to be expressed," and did not mean the committee supported a ban.

The debate will not result in a binding vote.

Prime Minister David Cameron has condemned the remarks by the contender for the Republican presidential nomination as "divisive, stupid and wrong."

However he and other senior officials have said they do not think Trump should be banned from Britain, where he owns a Scottish golf course.

Any UK citizen or resident can start a petition on Parliament's website. To sign, people must provide and confirm an email address.

"The Prime Minister has made clear that he completely disagrees with Donald Trump's remarks," said an official statement in response to the petition.

"The Home Secretary has said that Donald Trump's remarks in relation to Muslims are divisive, unhelpful and wrong."

Helen Jones, the Labour MP who chairs the committee, said all views could be expressed in the debate.

"By scheduling a debate on these petitions, the committee is not expressing a view on whether or not the government should exclude Donald Trump from the UK," she said.

"As with any decision to schedule a petition for debate, it simply means that the committee has decided that the subject should be debated."

However, others thought the debate was simply a waste of time.

"Trump is a bloviating billionaire with downright offensive views. But I'd rather we debated inequality or the NHS," tweeted Tim Farron, liberal democrat MP.