As State Visit Announced, Anti-Trump Speaker Bercow Under Scrutiny For Blocking Presidential Address

John Bercow
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty

Former Conservative turned ardently pro-remain speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow has come under pressure to invite Donald Trump to address Parliament by his opposite number in the House of Lords.

The speaker of the Lords, Lord Fowler, has called for the President to be invited to address parliament during his visit, reports The Times. The move stands at odds with his opposite number in the House of Commons, the theoretically neutral speaker John Bercow, who ruled out Mr Trump being able to address parliament last year.

President Trump is due to visit the UK from June 3rd-June 5th, and will be expected to take part in a number of events including a banquet with the Queen as well as meetings with Theresa May. The President will also be taking part in commemorations of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

Mr Bercow said before Mr Trump’s previous visit to the UK in July 2018 that “Before the imposition of the migrant ban, I would myself have been strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall, but after the imposition of the migrant ban by President Trump, I am even more strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall.”

Previous Presidents have addressed Parliament and the speaker of the Lords said there is a “strong case for a speech by the president particularly on such an important anniversary”, given the timing of the visit with the D-Day landing commemorations.

Trump’s previous visit was also opposed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who allegedly played a part in aiding protests against the President by allowing a large, inflatable caricature balloon to be flown over London at the time of his visit.

Prime Minister Theresa May, however, spoke of the importance of the state visit, saying it would “strengthen our already close relationship”. The White House meanwhile responded by saying the visit would “reaffirm the steadfast and special relationship” between the UK and US.

It remains to be seen if Mr Bercow will invite the President to address Parliament in Westminster Hall as he has previously said it was “not an automatic right, it is an earned honour”.

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