There were protests outside Parliament in London today as MPs debated plans to invite US President Donald Trump on a UK state visit.
Prime Minister Theresa May announced the state visit during a recent visit to Washington for talks with the president.
However a parliamentary debate was triggered after more than 1.85m people signed an online petition calling on the Government to withdraw the invitation. A second petition in favor of the visit received 311,000 votes.
During the Commons debate, Labour’s Paul Flynn said it would be “terribly wrong” for the visit to take place while Conservative Nigel Evans told critics to “get over it.”
Mr Flynn said it was “extraordinary” that an invitation had been issued so soon into the US president’s term. The state visit invitation came just seven days into Mr Trump’s presidency compared to 758 days for Barack Obama and 978 days for George W Bush.
He said Mr Trump had caused problems in “every political area in which he has become involved in” and had been “behaving like a petulant child.”
Scottish Nationalist Alex Salmond said: “I think its difficult to know whether to be appalled at the morality of this invitation or just astonished at the stupidity.”
Labour’s Tulip Siddiq, Labour said MPs should listen to the millions of people who have signed the petition to say they don’t the state visit to go ahead.
She added: “In my opinion, all he’s done since he’s been president is insult the press, champion economic protectionism and tried to ban Muslims from entering the United States. Are these reasons why we should be granting him a state visit?”
Conservative James Cartlidge told MPs that the visit should go ahead. He said: “We need to be as close to this administration as possible. If we have concerns about President Trump we should be in there trying to shape the administration rather than rescinding an offer that was sent and accepted in good faith.”
Outside, one of protesters, Melanie Lloyd, told Sky News: “I love America. I’ve been many times. I really hate everything that Donald Trump stands for. He can visit the UK. He can meet with our politicians, but please don’t give him a state visit.”
Other anti-Trump protests took place today in other major cities around the UK including Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool, Cardiff and Newcastle.