The Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, won’t attend the State Banquet held in honour of Donald Trump when the US President visits the UK this June. The Labour leader revealed he has turned down an invitation to the event citing President Trump’s use of ‘racist and misogynist rhetoric” among his reasons for refusing to attend.
The statement from Labour and Mr Corbyn said “Theresa May should not be rolling out the red carpet for a state visit to honour a president who rips up vital international treaties, backs climate change denial and uses racist and misogynist rhetoric. Maintaining an important relationship with the United States does not require the pomp and ceremony of a state visit. It is disappointing that the prime minister has again opted to kowtow to this US administration.”
However, Labour said that Mr Corbyn would ”welcome” a chance to meet President Trump so they could discuss ”matters of interest”.
President Trump will make his State Visit to the UK from June 3rd to June 5th 2019 and the Banquet is expected to take place on the evening of the first full day of the trip. Mr Corbyn has attended previous State Banquets including one given in honour of the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, in 2015.
The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, has also turned down an invitation to the event. He has also said he will block any opportunity for President Trump to address both houses of parliament in Westminster Hall. The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Vince Cable, has also said no to the State Banquet invitation, adding “I hope and trust Her Majesty The Queen will understand that I decline this invitation out of no disrespect to her. I am of course hugely honoured to have been invited.”
It is expected that around 150 people will be at the event with the Queen leading the Royal Family.