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Westminster Council defies petition to snub Donald Trump visit

Stop the War Coalition chairman Murad Qureshi promises street protests

07 April, 2017 — By Alina Polianskaya

US President Donald Trump

THE boss of Westminster Council says they will not withdraw support from US President Donald Trump’s state visit despite a petition urging them not to facilitate it.

Chief executive Charlie Parker said the council had a statutory duty to co-operate with the visit to “ensure the safety and security” of residents and that “to withdraw our cooperation would seriously hinder our ability to protect our citizens”.

The petition was set up in response to Trump’s controversial travel ban on people from a number of mainly Muslim countries. It said: “We believe Westminster Council should not use its resources, or taxpayers’ money, to facilitate a state visit by a leader with such policies.”

It is believed that much of the US president’s visit in October will take place in the borough, including Downing Street and Buckingham Palace and so be supported by the council’s special events and transport teams. Murad Qureshi, chairman of Stop the War Coalition, said the council’s response was “one of the most bureaucratic” he had seen in a long time, adding: “We will be out on the streets if nothing else to allow people to vent their frustrations at what he’s up to.”

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