MPs react to US travel ban and Trump petition

Protesters assemble at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York
Protesters assemble at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York

Wigan politicians have spoken out against President Donald Trump’s travel ban and urged residents to oppose his state visit to the UK.

More than one million people have signed a petition to cancel the visit amid a growing backlash against the ban on refugees and people from several mainly-Muslim countries.

It reached the 100,000 total needed for it to be considered for debate by MPs just after midday on Sunday having been launched the day before.

Posting a link to the petition on Twitter, Wigan’s MP Lisa Nandy said: “History tells us what happens when we don’t stand up to hatred.

“Please sign and send a clear message to (Prime Minister) Theresa May.”

In similar fashion, Leigh MP Andy Burnham posted a link to a story about the refugee ban, adding: “What on earth must the world think of us? Please retweet if the British Prime Minister does not speak for you.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Lib Dem leader Tim Farron and SNP foreign affairs spokesman Alex Salmond have all called for President Trump’s proposed trip to the UK to be cancelled.
And protests have been organised to take place on Monday across the country, including in Manchester and Preston.

However, Downing Street said its position had not changed as Theresa May came under pressure to downgrade or axe the visit.

Borough Green Party chairman and Greater Manchester mayoral candidate Will Patterson criticised the Government’s statement clarifying that the travel ban will not impact on British nationals and dual nationals.

He said: “Last year Theresa May talked about the UK leading the world. Now, as Trump slams the door on refugees, we mumble that at least we’ll be okay.”

Ukip Wigan chairman Nathan Ryding told Wigan Today that the new President had followed through on election pledges and called the petition "ludicrous".

He said: “Throughout his campaign Donald Trump did say that is what he would do and he did get elected on those promises which does gives him a mandate.

"I think (the petition) is ludicrous, he is the president of the US, one of the most powerful people in the world, a ban would destroy our special relationship with the United States as well as damage our chances of trade.”