The Guardian reports: Donald Trump is unfit to address MPs, according to the Speaker of the House of Commons who said that he would refuse to invite the US president to speak at Westminster because of parliament’s long held opposition “to racism and to sexism”.
John Bercow warned that the opportunity to speak in the prestigious Westminster Hall during a state visit “is not an automatic right, it is an earned honour” in an extraordinary intervention that divided MPs and annoyed No 10.
The unprecedented step caused many MPs to pour praise on Bercow, but also triggered an angry response in parts of government with ministers privately claiming that he had overstepped the mark.
Senior figures accused the Speaker of grandstanding – while his counterpart in the House of Lords, Lord Fowler, was understood to be irritated by the unexpected statement.
Bercow, whose role is non-political, told MPs that he did not have the power to block the state visit invitation extended to Trump by Theresa May, but made clear that he would use his authority to prevent what is considered one of the high points of the official trip.
The speaker made clear that he was always against the idea of Trump making a speech in the same hall that Barack Obama did in 2012, but said recent policies had even more determined to block the move. [Continue reading…]