Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, has said that he strongly opposes the matter of Donald Trump addressing the UK Parliament during his State Visit to the country later this year.
Because of the Speaker’s opposition, President Trump will not be able to address Parliament in Westminster Hall, and it is looking unlikely that he will be able to make an address at all.
Speaking in the Commons chamber, Mr Bercow said: “I would not wish to issue an invitation to President Trump to speak in the Royal Gallery.
“We value our relationship with the United States, if the State Visit takes place, that is way beyond and above the paygrade of the Speaker.
“However, as far as this place is concerned I feel very strongly that our opposition to racism and to sexism, and our support for equality before the law and an independent judiciary are hugely important considerations in the House of Commons.”
Following Mr Bercow’s speech, opposition MPs gave him a round of applause, despite clapping being banned in the chamber and only being used in exceptional circumstances.
Member of Parliment for Bolsover, Dennis Skinner, stood up after the speech telling the Speaker “well done”.
In his role as Speaker of the House of Commons, Mr Bercow is politically neutral and never takes sides on any issues. As a result, this intervention is unprecedented in the House.
Mr Bercow’s speech comes after Buckingham Palace privately expressed concern with Downing Street that The Queen is inadvertently being dragged into the Donald Trump State Visit controversy.
According to The Times, the Palace are unhappy that Her Majesty has been put into a politically explosive situation following the heavy controversy that has arisen.
The news comes after Downing Street said that the Prime Minister didn’t invite Donald Trump on a State Visit, but senior Buckingham Palace officials did so.
The invitation was suggested by the Foreign Office Committee, of which the Private Secretaries to The Queen, Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge take part in.
Despite the claims by Number 10, as a Constitutional Monarch, only the Prime Minister can approve an invitation for a State Visit to take place in Her Majesty’s name.