atticus wrote:Is that what Bercow said?
atticus wrote:I generally consider the BBC a reliable source of news.
Last month, Prime Minister Theresa May said Mr Trump had accepted an invitation from the Queen for a state visit to the UK later this year.
However, responding to a point of order in the Commons on Monday, Mr Bercow said he was opposed to the president addressing both Houses of Parliament...
Stephen Doughty (Cardiff South and Penarth) (Lab/Co-op) wrote:On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Have you noted the deep concern expressed by Members from both sides of the House—the 170 who have signed early-day motion 890, and those who do not sign EDMs but have made their views known publicly during the past week—regarding offering the honour of a speech to both Houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall or, indeed, elsewhere in the Palace of Westminster? Will you tell us what approaches have been made to you, what discussions have taken place with the relevant authorities—the keyholders—for such an approach to go ahead, and whether there are any ways in which those of us who have deep concerns about President Trump’s comments can make that known to the responsible authorities?
[Applause.]Mr Speaker wrote:I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his point of order. I will say this: an address by a foreign leader to both Houses of Parliament is not an automatic right; it is an earned honour. Moreover, there are many precedents for state visits to take place in our country that do not include an address to both Houses of Parliament. That is the first point.
The second point is that in relation to Westminster Hall, there are three keyholders—the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Lord Speaker of the House of the Lords and the Lord Great Chamberlain. Ordinarily, we are able to work by consensus, and the Hall would be used for a purpose, such as an address or another purpose, by agreement of the three keyholders.
I must say to the hon. Gentleman, to all who have signed his early-day motion and to others with strong views about this matter on either side of the argument that before the imposition of the migrant ban, I would myself have been strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall, but 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.
So far as the Royal Gallery is concerned—again, I operate on advice—I perhaps do not have as strong a say in that matter. It is in a different part of the building, although customarily an invitation to a visiting leader to deliver an address there would be issued in the names of the two Speakers. I would not wish to issue an invitation to President Trump to speak in the Royal Gallery.
I conclude by saying to the hon. Gentleman that we value our relationship with the United States. If a state visit takes place, that is way beyond and above the pay grade of the Speaker. However, as far as this place is concerned, 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.
Well that would appear to cover it.
How do those criticising this speech suggest that he answered that point of order?
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