Bercow-Trump: “No racism and sexism in my House"
The Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow MP delivered an unprecedented international broadside attack against the US President Donald Trump yesterday.
Speaking in the House of Commons he informed MPs that as a result of the ban on refugees and predominantly Muslim countries entering the US, he would not be inviting the President to Speak at Westminster Hall to address both Houses.
In an impassioned speech Bercow stated:
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,”
Bercow told MPs, who were visibly shocked by his comments:
I would not wish to issue an invitation to president Trump.”
Furthermore, he added:
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 in the House of Commons.”
In recent years there have been only two international leaders who have had the privilege to address both Houses in the prestigious Westminster Hall, they have been South Africa’s first Black President, Nelson Mandela, and more recently the first US Black President Barack Obama.
In a somewhat ironic twist to the story Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi spoke out against Bercow arguing that the Speaker was unwise to speak out, adding:
he - Bercow- prides himself on his neutrality, to speak for the whole of parliament, and I think to become the story is a bad place to be.”
Zahawi, who was born in Iraq was initially banned by Trump’s order before Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson sought clarification that UK dual nationals from the ‘black listed’ countries would not be affected.
President Donald Trump knows that for many global leaders it is difficult for them to confront a staunch ally, particularly when that ally heads the most powerful political and economical nation in the world.
However, the Speaker of the House took a courageous stance yesterday by stating that there is one small part of British Government-Westminster Hall- that would not kowtow and roll out the red carpet to such blatant discriminatory practices.