House of Commons Speaker cheered as he opposes inviting Pres. Trump to address Parliament, citing “our opposition to racism and to sexism.” pic.twitter.com/cEyFQZ6Xp5
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) February 6, 2017
If you think the United States Senate or the House of Representatives can be hot spots of volatile arguments or cumbersome shouting matches, then you’ve never witnessed the United Kingdom’s House of Commons. An insult as seemingly simple as “dodgy” can turn the room into a cavalcade of irritated British politicians and staffers. Yet Westminster Hall, where the House of Commons members meet regularly to trade barbs and pass legislation, is also where they invite the world’s dignitaries to address them during official state visits.
Unless you’re President Donald Trump, whose planned visit later this year might not include said address. That’s because Speaker John Bercow, whose role traditionally requires him to “remain above the partisan fray” according to the Associated Press, did just the opposite. Why? Because of the White House’s immigration ban, of course:
“Before the imposition of the migrant ban, I would myself have been strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall. After the imposition of the migrant ban by President Trump, I am even more strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall… We value our relationship with the United States. If a state visit takes place, that is way above and beyond the pay grade 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.”