UK: Former speaker Bercow sticks to his views on Trump

LONDON

Former speaker of Britain’s House of Commons said nothing has happened in the last two and half a years to change his position of refusing U.S. President Donald Trump from addressing the lawmakers.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency following an event with foreign journalists in London, John Bercow said: “I made my position clear on the issue in February 2017 and nothing has changed since.

“Nothing has happened in the intervening two and a half years of course to make me change my mind, anything happened reinforced me in the view that I took then,” Bercow said.

In 2017, the former speaker had said Trump was not welcome to address the U.K. parliament during a state visit.

Bercow said at a parliament session that the relationship with the U.S. is valued and the decision of a state visit by a president is beyond the parliament speaker’s authority.

“However, as far as this place is concerned, I feel very strongly that our opposition to racism, and to sexism and our support for equality before the law and an independent judiciary are important considerations in the House of Commons,” he had said.

Bercow had noted that a parliament address by a foreign statesman “was not an automatic right, it is an earned honour”.

An online statement asking the government to cancel Trump’s state visit saw more than 1.8 million signatures but the state visit went ahead as planned in June 2019.

Bercow also boycotted a state banquet given by the Queen for the visiting U.S. president.
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