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British parliament calls on Trump to reverse "Muslim ban"

Editor: Wang Lingxiao 丨Xinhua

01-31-2017 12:17 BJT

LONDON, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- MPs (members of the Parliament) in Britain's House of Commons voted unanimously after an emergency debate Monday to call on U.S. President Donald Trump to repeal his travel ban on Muslims.

As a three-hour debate took place at Westminster, thousands of protesters gathered at the gates of Downing Street to reinforce a call on the government to withdraw an invitation to Trump to pay a state visit to Britain.

The protest at Downing Street was the biggest of similar protests in major cities across Britain.

Demonstrations took places in more than 35 English cities, including Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Sheffield, Oxford as well as the Welsh capital Cardiff, and Glasgow in Scotland.

More than 1.5 million people have signed a petition to the British Parliament saying Trump should not be invited to make an official state visit because it would cause embarrassment to Queen Elizabeth. But it says he should be allowed to enter Britain in his capacity as head of the U.S. Government.

The petition and emergency debate were in response to Trump's executive order to ban Muslims from seven Middle Eastern countries from travelling to the United States.

During his presidential election campaign Trump expressed his intention to ban Muslims from travelling to the U.S.

Former leader of the Liberal Democrat party, Lord Paddy Ashdown, warned that a state visit by Trump would spark one of the biggest ever public demonstrations ever seen in London.

Earlier Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was critical of the "highly controversial" measures introduced by Trump, but said holders of British passports would not be affected by the ban, even if they also hold dual passports from any of the seven countries affected.

Johnson said the proposed state visit to Britain by U.S. president should go ahead, adding that the British parliament is entitled to make its views known, but there is "every reason" why the state visit should go ahead.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has faced criticism from opposition politicians for not commenting herself on Trump's instruction.

Former Labor leader Ed Miliband, who generated the emergency debate at Westminster, called on May to speak personally to Trump to express the feelings of Britain on his policy.

Miliband told MPs: "What Trump has done has made the world less safe and more dangerous."

He said the unanimity in the House of Commons among MPs of all political parties, and the depth of feeling at the demonstrations across Britain showed the depth of feeling to Trump's actions.

"He's only been president for two weeks, and it already seems like a year," he said.

Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow said the vote calling on the need for the U.S. to repeal the ban on entry to Muslims of the seven countries was supported unanimously by parliament.

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