Calls have been made for Westminster City Council’s new leader and high ranking officials to block the proposed state visit of Donald Trump.
Cllr Adam Hug wants the council to withhold council cooperation with the government in planning and managing the event until President Trump reverses his “discriminatory” and “immoral” visa ban, which Cllr Hug claims could prevent more than 10,000 people from Westminster from entering the United States of America.
He has written a letter calling for action to new council leader, Cllr Nickie Aiken, chief executive, Charlie Parker, and executive director for city management and communities, Stuart Love.
Cllr Hug calls the immigration ban, which impacts citizens of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen and is currently being applied to dual nationals, “a direct attack on the freedoms of a significant number of Westminster residents”.
Among those left in limbo was four-time Olympic gold medallist and Hounslow hero Mo Farah , who holds dual British-Somali nationality and has been living and training in America for several years.
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State visits usually comprise of visits to Downing Street, Buckingham Palace and other Westminster landmarks and require the support of Westminster’s special events and transport teams.
In a joint letter to Cllr Aiken, who succeeded Cllr Philippa Roe , and Mr Parker, Cllr Hug says: “I’m writing to strongly request that Westminster Council withholds its ‘special events’ and transport cooperation in relation to the planning for the proposed upcoming state visit by President Trump whilst the US Administration continues to pursue a discriminatory visa ban that, as well as being immoral, has a direct and negative effect on Westminster residents.”
He said 2011 census results show 2,920 Westminster residents were born in Iran and 946 were born in Somalia, and making an educated guess for residents living in the other mainly-Muslim countries listed on the visa ban, believes more than 10,000 Westminster residents would be “harmed” by the ban.
He denied his call was motivated by a difference in political beliefs: “This is not a normal state visit by a head of state or government with whose views we disagree; it is someone who is making a direct attack on the freedoms of a significant number of Westminster residents.
“Therefore Westminster Council must not use its resources or taxpayers’ money to facilitate a state visit by President Trump whilst this ban remains in place.”
Cllr Hug is not alone in wanting to keep President Trump away - more than a million people have signed a petition to cancel the president’s state visit to Britain.
The controversial visa ban has prompted demonstrations at airports across the USA (see video below).
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