I have been contacted by my constituents regarding the proposed state visit by President Trump to the UK.
Presidents of the United States have often made official visits to the UK for summit meetings or other events within months of their inauguration. However, state visits, which require an invitation, have historically taken place after a considerably longer period following a president's inauguration than the one currently proposed for President Trump. The Prime Minister announced the invitation for a state visit by President Trump just one week after he took office.
During the statement about the visit I raised my concerns with the Foreign Secretary. The same day, President Trump signed an executive order on immigration and refugees which I believe to be divisive, wrong, and in breach of international agreements. The President has also used worrying language regarding torture, attacked women's rights, and is threatening international agreements on climate change.
I am opposed to a state visit taking place in these circumstances and almost two million people have signed a petition to this effect. This petition will now be debated in Parliament on 20 February 2017.
If the state visit does go ahead, however, I am strongly opposed to giving President Trump the honour of addressing Parliament in Westminster Hall. I am pleased that the Speaker of the House of Commons also expressed this sentiment recently. I have signed an Early Day Motion in support of Speaker Bercow.
Our country should always stand up for the fundamental values of rule of law, human rights and religious liberty.