Trump To Be Denied the Honor Of Addressing UK Parliament During State Visit In June
Donald Trump will be denied the historic honor of addressing parliament during his state visit to the United Kingdom next month, government sources have confirmed.
In a major snub to the American President, lingering hopes of him delivering a speech to MPs and peers have been dashed following defiant opposition by Commons Speaker John Bercow, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and others.
Although Barack Obama made a landmark address in Westminster Hall in 2011, Trump will not be allowed the same privilege after the visit’s organizers decided to avoid a diplomatic fight over his “racism and sexism”.
The prospect of a speech to both Houses of Parliament was finally ruled out as Commons leader Andrea Leadsom announced the dates of the Whitsun recess break later this month.
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MPs will be sent away from Westminster from May 23 until June 4, which means the building will be effectively closed during a key part of Trump’s trip to London.
Trump is due to fly into Britain on June 3 and leave two days later, and both Buckingham Palace and Downing Street have decided not to press the issue of a speech in the medieval Westminster Hall.
Whitehall insiders revealed that the UK government had not made a formal request to the Commons speaker and Lords speaker, which is the usual protocol, to allow Trump to speak.
“We’ve not asked. It’s not going to happen,” one source said on Thursday.
Some government supporters of Trump’s visit, including foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt, had been pushing hard for a change of heart to allow him to make the address to parliament.
Hunt said last month: “I think it is very important when you have a state visit by our closest and most important ally that we think about the office as much as the person.”
While in the UK in June, Trump is due to mark the 75th anniversary commemorations of the allied World War II D-Day landings.