— Tom Fletcher (@TFletcher) January 28, 2017
The Guardian reports: Jeremy Corbyn has told Theresa May she will be “failing the British people” if she does not cancel Donald Trump’s state visit in the wake of the US president’s ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries entering the US.
Corbyn told the Guardian the summer visit should be called off if Trump’s indefinite ban on Syrian refugees remains in place, even if time-limited restrictions put in place have lapsed by then.
“Donald Trump should not be welcomed to Britain while he abuses our shared values with his shameful Muslim ban and attacks on refugees’ and women’s rights,” he said.
“Theresa May would be failing the British people if she does not postpone the state visit and condemn Trump’s actions in the clearest terms. That’s what Britain expects and deserves.”
With Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat leader, also calling for the visit to be cancelled, May was under pressure on Sunday to make a stronger condemnation of Trump’s ban, which has brought global condemnation and prompted travel and legal chaos within the US. [Continue reading…]
BBC political correspondent, Susana Mendonca, writes: Before all the hand holding and pally smiles, Theresa May promised the world she would not be afraid to tell Donald Trump what she thought when she disagreed with him. It didn’t take long for her to stumble at the first hurdle.
Downing Street later said the prime minister didn’t agree with Mr Trump’s approach. And her Chief Secretary to the Treasury also said she was not the kind of politician to “shoot from the hip”.
But this tougher stance only came after wide criticism of her failure to condemn the president in the first place.
Iraqi-born MP Nadhim Zahawi said he would also be banned from the US; fellow Conservative Heidi Allen said she didn’t care how “special” the relationship was, some lines shouldn’t be crossed.
And that’s the trouble for Theresa May. Donald Trump is bound to cross yet more lines, and if she doesn’t criticise him she’ll look like the weak partner obeying the powerful one.
The real question for her will be whether keeping Mr Trump sweet in the interests of getting a good trade deal for Britain is worth the backlash she’ll get for not being candid enough when she and Britain disagrees with him.
Labour Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he was pleased the prime minister “has now said she and the government do not agree” with the policy – which Mr Khan described as “shameful”.
“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’.”
Labour’s former deputy leader Harriet Harman told the BBC: “I was horrified when he announced this ban on people from Muslim countries.
“And three times – once, twice, three times – [Mrs May] said: ‘Oh it’s nothing to do with me.’ Well, it is to do with us, as we all know. And she obviously has to be careful as prime minister – but she needs to be strong as well. So I was really disappointed – I hope she’s learnt some lessons.”
The Guardian reports: Hamaseh Tayari, a UK resident who holds an Iranian passport, has been on holiday in Costa Rica with her boyfriend for the last week. She was due to fly back to Glasgow, where she works as a vet, this morning but was denied entry onto the flight because her flight went via New York and she would need a transit visa, which was revoked.
Tayari, who grew up in Italy, has never experienced anything like this. She says: “This has really shocked me. We just discovered [what Trump did] at the airport when we went to check in. I want people to know that this is not just happening to refugees. I am a graduate and I have a PhD. It has happened to a person who is working and who pays tax.”
Tayari and her boyfriend are trying to find an alternative route home. A flight to Madrid on the 30 January will cost them £2,000 and they’ll still have to find a way from there to Glasgow. “We had been saving for months for this holiday and it will cost me a month’s salary just to get home,” she said.
“I am destroyed. I did not know that I could cry for so long. It feels like the beginning of the end. How this is possible? I am really afraid about what is going on.”
British Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi, who was born in Iraq, interviewed on the BBC:
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) January 29, 2017
Sadly, it’s a bit late in the day for Zahawi to have recognized the importance of freedom of movement. Last March, sounding very much like Trump, the MP tweeted in support of Brexit:
— Nadhim Zahawi (@nadhimzahawi) March 30, 2016
Another Brexiter, now Britain’s foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, is now speaking out in defense of freedom of movement:
We will protect the rights and freedoms of UK nationals home and abroad. Divisive and wrong to stigmatise because of nationality
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) January 29, 2017