How Female MPs Will Snub Donald Trump On UK Visit

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A group of senior female Labour MPs have pledged to boycott Donald Trump's speech if he is invited to speak in the Houses of Parliament during his state visit to the UK.

Harriet Harman, Labour's former deputy leader, is leading the calls for female MPs to "empty chair" the US president because of his "appalling" views on women and numerous other issues, the Guardian reported.

“I could not be there clapping a man who is a self-confessed groper,” Harman told the Observer. “His views on many issues are unacceptable. And on foreign policy he seems to think he can just bully other countries and get his way. That we should sit there smiling and clapping is... well for me it is out of the question.”

Other female MPs echoed her appeal for a mass "no show". Former cabinet minister Yvette Cooper, who ran for the Labour leadership in 2015, said it was a "joke" to think they would sit and "listen to a man who is turning the clock back on democracy, pushing misogyny and hatred of Muslims."

“We’ve fought for equality for decades and we certainly shouldn’t be honouring someone at the heart of British democracy who wants to rip those democratic values up," she said.

Cooper urged parliament to "show a bit of muscle... and not just roll over because Theresa May sent out an embarrassing invitation to Trump in a desperate rush."

Former minister Caroline Flint, Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves and Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy also hinted they would not turn up to sit through a Trump speech, with Creasy saying planning is underway for a series of anti-Trump protests if he does visit.

MPs will debate cancelling Trump's official visit to the UK later this month, after nearly two million people signed a petition to prevent him from making a state visit to the country.

Rumours are floating around of a potential compromise whereby Trump would speak at the Royal Gallery in the House of Lords rather than Westminster Hall, the most prestigious part of the Palace of Westminster, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

Trump would most likely consider this a snub, given that his predecessor Barack Obama spoke in Westminster Hall during his state visit.

So far around 165 MPs from Labour, the SNP, the SDLP and the Green Party have signed a motion calling for Trump to be banned from speaking in parliament, the Guardian reported.
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