The independent London newspaper

Plea to Westminster City Council to withdraw cooperation from Trump state visit

Protests against new US President's Muslim travel ban

03 February, 2017 — By Alina Polianskaya

Adam Hug, Westminster’s Labour leader (above right): ‘…discriminatory visa ban, as well as being immoral, has a direct and negative effect on Westminster residents’

WESTMINSTER’S Labour group has called on the council to do their bit to stymie Donald Trump’s state visit as protesters took to the streets to speak out against the US president’s “Muslim ban”.

Mr Trump’s executive order has blocked people from seven mainly Muslim countries from entering America for 90 days, as well as banning refugee admissions for some time.

Westminster’s Labour leader Adam Hug suggested it would be difficult for the visit to go ahead without the council’s full cooperation in planning the event.

In a letter to council chiefs, he urged the council to withhold “its ‘special events’ and transport cooperation in relation to the planning for the proposed upcoming state visit by President Trump while the US Administration continues to pursue a discriminatory visa ban that, as well as being immoral, has a direct and negative effect on Westminster residents”.

The ban prevents citizens from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen entering the US from one of those seven countries.

A council spokesman said: “As is usual for the visit of a head of state to the centre of London, President Trump’s proposed visit to the United Kingdom and the arrangements surrounding it will be determined by central government.

“Our role in supporting the police in any arrangements that affect the highway is statutory and our support or otherwise of the proposed visit is immaterial to any arrangements that are required.”

Addressing Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson during a debate at the House of Commons about Mr Trump’s immigration policy, Westminster North MP Karen Buck said on Monday that many of her constituents were Muslims.

She added: “Many of them travel regularly to America for work and family reasons, and they are looking for the strongest possible reassurance from the government. Can the Foreign Secretary help me on one specific point?

“A very diverse school party will leave for America in a few days, and a couple of the students have already been refused visa waivers. Will he do what he can to ensure smooth passage for those students, who are going to America to study the great tradition of American democracy?”

Mr Johnson assured they would do “everything we can to help the party of schoolchildren”.


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