LONDON — Jeremy Corbyn said on Sunday that it would be “totally wrong” for US President Donald Trump to visit the UK as long as his contentious ban on Muslims from certain countries entering the US remains in place.
Speaking to ITV’s Robert Peston this morning, the Labour leader said he was “not happy” about the prospect of Trump making a state visit to Britain and suggested that any planned visit should be delayed.
On Saturday Trump signed an executive order banning people from seven countries of mainly Muslim populations from entering the US for 90 days. It sparked protests across the US and has been condemned by a host of British politicians.
The scope of the order means that Brits with dual nationalities are currently banned from entering the US. This includes Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi, who was born in Iraq, and Olympic gold medal winner Mo Farah, who has a British-Somali passport.
Asked whether it would be appropriate for the Republican President to visit the UK while the order remains in effect, Corbyn said: “It’s odd that he should be invited so quickly, particularly in view of some of the statements he’s made. I suspect this visit will be something that finds its way into the long grass.”
He told Peston that Theresa May’s government should be in “no rush” to host the divisive leader.
“We need to find out exactly what his intentions are in the long run and how much the US parliamentary system is actually going to protect fundamental rights, freedoms and laws. Is it really right to endorse somebody who has used this awful misogynist language throughout the election campaign, awful attacks on Muslims, and of course this absurd idea of building a wall between themselves and their nearest neighbour?”
He added: “I’m not happy about him coming here until that ban is lifted… It would be totally wrong.”
Corbyn’s condemnation of Trump was echoed by London mayor Sadiq Khan, who published a statement on Sunday morning describing Trump’s immigration policy as “shameful and cruel.”
The Labour man, who last year became the first elected Muslim mayor of any European capital city, said:
“President Trump’s ban on refugees and immigrants from certain countries is shameful and cruel.
“The USA has a proud history of welcoming and resettling refugees. The President can’t just turn his back on this global crisis – all countries need to play their part.
“While every country has the right to set its own immigration policies, this new policy flies in the face of the values of freedom and tolerance that the USA was built upon.
“I’m pleased that the Prime Minister has now said she and the government do not agree with President Trump’s policy, which will affect many British citizens who have dual nationality, including Londoners born in countries affected by the ban.
“As Mayor, I will work with the government on behalf of Londoners affected. As a nation that, like the USA, values tolerance, diversity and freedom, we cannot just shrug our shoulders and say: “It’s not our problem.”
Prime Minister Theresa May was at the centre of a political storm on Saturday evening, accused by numerous politicians of failing to condemn Trump in strong enough terms. Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said: “Not only is this shocking even by her standards, it cannot be allowed to stand. The President’s actions have horrified the world, and this is a moment when she has to show what side she is on.”
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