The Speaker of the House of Lords, Lord Fowler, has criticised Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, for opposing U.S. President Donald J Trump addressing Parliament during the state visit next month.
“I find it unacceptable that we should even consider turning our backs on the elected leader of a country to whom everyone in Britain today owes so much,” Lord Fowler said during an address of the Cambridge Union Society reported by The Sun.
President Trump’s state visit from the 3rd to the 5th of June is set to coincide with D-Day commemorations; on the matter of American servicemen who took part in the Normandy landings, codenamed Operation Neptune, on June 6th, 1944, Lord Fowler said, “Many, many were killed.
“Without their effort we would not have had a free Parliament or have enjoyed free debate for the past 55 years, not to mention the freedom to demonstrate.
“I profoundly object to any attempt to ban the President when he is coming to Europe to mark the anniversary of the D-Day landings when so many Americans were killed and wounded in defence of our freedom.”
Bercow, who as Speaker of the House of Commons should be politically neutral, made his politics clear in February 2017 when he accused the President of “sexism and racism” and said he was “strongly opposed” to the leader of the United Kingdom’s strongest ally addressing Parliament.
Media reported last week that Bercow, along with far-left Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, had declined the invitation to the state banquet being held in honour of President Trump.
Corbyn previously attended a state banquet for Xi Jingpin, who heads the Chinese Communist Party regime in Beijing.
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The Guardian reports that the U.S. President may not be asked to address MPs and Lords in Westminster next month.
Protocol dictates that once a state visit itinerary is agreed, Buckingham Palace asks the speakers of the Lords and Commons to request invitations to address Parliament, but British government sources are concerned the request could be turned down by Speaker Bercow, causing embarrassment for Queen Elizabeth II.
Whitehall sources have also told the Daily Mail that despite support from ministers, an address of Parliament looks “very unlikely”.
A spokesman for the Speaker would give no indication if the speculations were true, telling The Times, “Should a request be made to address the Houses of Parliament, it will be considered in the usual way.”
Brexiteer Tory MP Mark Francois told The Times that Bercow should change his position, saying, “The United States is our strongest ally, the leading member of NATO and the Five Eyes [intelligence-sharing network] and a major trading partner.”
“It would therefore be appropriate for the President to address Parliament and the Speaker should not allow his personal views to get in the way of that,” Mr Francois added.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 21, 2018