STOPPING Donald Trump from addressing MPs is an insult to America’s war dead and affront to free speech, the boss of the Lords has declared.
Lords Speaker Lord Fowler issued the withering broadside tonight in a direct attack on his opposite number in the House of Commons, Speaker John Bercow.
Deepening the two men’s already furious row, the Tory peer insisted: “I find it unacceptable that we should even consider turning our backs on the elected leader of a country to whom everyone in Britain today owes so much”.
Mr Bercow has sparked an impassioned debate by refusing to issue an invitation to the US President to speak in Parliament on his first state visit to Britain from June 3-5.
Praising the sacrifice of US servicemen who helped liberate Europe from Hitler’s Nazis, the former Tory Cabinet minister told the Cambridge Union Society tonight: “Many, many were killed.
“Without their effort we would not have had a free Parliament or have enjoyed free debate for the past 55 years, not to mention the freedom to demonstrate.
“I profoundly object to any attempt to ban the President when he is coming to Europe to mark the anniversary of the D-Day landings when so many Americans were killed and wounded in defence of our freedom.”
We should not stifle views we may disagree with
Mr Bercow also declared two years ago that Mr Trump would not be welcome to address MPs and peers in Westminster Hall – the highest honour that Parliamentarians can bestow on visiting world leaders.
Lord Fowler also said that decision – made without consulting him – attacks the principle of free speech, which all Parliamentarians stand for.
He added: “I fear it panders to those elsewhere who seek to ban speakers because their views do not coincide with their own.
“It also seems to me that if our role inside Westminster is to uphold the rights of backbenchers and their right to free speech it would be ironic to apply a different standard to the elected President of the United States.
“It is my view that we should not stifle views we may disagree with or shy away from lively debate.”
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The Sun revealed last week that President Trump has no plan to request an address to Parliament because of the angry reception he will receive.
Instead, the US leader is looking at making a speech to US service personnel stationed in the UK.
Lord Fowler also revealed he would go to the Queen’s state banquet for Mr Trump, with Mr Bercow along with Jeremy Corbyn has already snubbed.
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