Last week it was announced that Donald Trump will make a state visit to the UK in June. I find it appalling that the Prime Minister is rolling out the red carpet for Trump and if he is invited to address to Parliament, I will not be attending.
Since Donald Trump was elected in 2016, his administration has proposed building a wall along the US-Mexico border, has attempted to impose a racist entry ban on people from seven majority Muslim countries and has slashed the US refugee programme. Last year, there was outrage from across the world at images of children separated from their families on the US-Mexico border and held in what can only be described as cages. Trump also drew criticism from climate change activists when he decided to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement, which commits signatories to keep the increase in global average temperatures down. These decisions are inflammatory, racist and contrary to our values and we should not ignore policies like this from one of our allies. We certainly should not honour any leader holding such opinions with a state visit.
Theresa May first attempted to invite President Trump on a state visit in 2017. The announcement sparked widespread outrage and a petition calling for the visit to be cancelled attracted nearly 2 million signatures. Almost 10, 000 people signed the petition in Lewisham Deptford alone – that’s nearly 1 in 10 people in the constituency. I am proud to represent such a vibrant, diverse constituency and it did not surprise me to receive such a high volume of correspondence on Trump’s policies. Trump’s administration is an affront to the values we stand for and the multicultural community in Lewisham that we are a proud to be a part of.
I spoke out against a state visit taking place at the time, along with many of my colleagues. I assure you that I will continue to oppose the Government’s decision this time around as well.