The UK’s parliament is to debate on whether to ban Donald Trump from visiting the country.
The lawmakers will discuss a petition, which has attracted 574,000 signatures, urging a ban following Donald Trump’s call for all Muslims to be denied entry to the US.
They will also debate a counter-petition, signed by 43,000 people, claiming such a ban would be illogical.
Donald Trump’s spokeswoman said it was an “absurd waste” of lawmakers’ time.
The Republican presidential hopeful called for a temporary ban on all Muslims entering the US in response to the shooting of 14 people in San Bernardino, California in December.
Donald Trump’s comments were criticized across the political spectrum in the US and Europe. He caused further anger by claiming that areas of London and other parts of the UK have become so radicalized that they have become no-go areas for the police.
Photo Getty Images
The tycoon is leading several opinion polls in the race to be the Republican candidate for President ahead of the first primary contest in February.
All public petitions which attract more than 100,000 signatures are considered for debate by the House of Commons petitions committee.
The “Ban Trump” petition states that the UK “has banned entry to many individuals for hate speech” and argues that the rules must be “fairly applied to the rich as well as poor”.
The counter-petition argues that foreign nationals should not be banned “for their opinions on domestic actions” and that a ban would risk damaging US-UK relations given the possibility of a Trump victory in November’s election.
Today’s debate will take place in Westminster Hall, the Commons’ secondary debating chamber, rather than the main Commons chamber itself. There will be no vote at the end of it.
The UK home secretary has the power to ban people from entering the country on grounds of national security, if they are thought likely to incite racial hatred or if they are deemed not to be “conducive to the public good”.
Conservative home secretary Theresa May has banned more than 200 people since 2010, according to figures published last year, although she has declined to comment on whether Donald Trump could be added to the list.
PM David Cameron and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn have both said they would not want to see Donald Trump excluded, arguing he should be encouraged to visit to see first-hand the UK’s diversity, cohesion and tolerance.
However, former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond, who has been involved in a war of words with Donald Trump in recent months, has suggested a ban “would do him good”.
Donald Trump, who owns the Turnberry golf course among other assets in Scotland, has threatened to cancel $1.1 billion of planned investment if he is blocked from returning to the UK.
Ahead of the debate, Trump International Links Scotland issued a statement saying lawmakers should be spending their time debating the problems facing the Scottish and UK economies.
“For the UK to consider banning someone who made a statement in America, about American borders during a US election campaign is ridiculous,” said Sarah Malone, the company’s executive vice president.
“Westminster is creating a dangerous precedent on this issue and is sending a terrible message to the world.”
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has defended his call for a ban on Muslims entering the United States after it was used in a propaganda video by Somali militant group al-Shabab.
Donald Trump said people had praised his courage in truthfully highlighting a “problem” that others preferred to ignore.
During an appearance on CBS News, Donald Trump said: “Now people are getting involved.”
The tycoon’s call, after San Bernardino shooting in which 14 people died, has been widely condemned.
Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that Donald Trump’s rhetoric was turning him into the “best recruiter” for ISIS.
A propaganda video by Al-Shabab, al-Qaeda’s Somali affiliate, used a clip of Donald Trump repeating his call at a campaign rally last month.
His appearance on CBS News’ Face the Nation, to be shown on January 3, Donald Trump was questioned over how his comments had been framed by al-Shabab as an incentive for Muslims to join holy war.
“Look, there’s a problem,” Donald Trump said.
“I bring it up. Other people have called and say you have guts to bring it up because frankly it’s true and nobody wants to get involved.
“People that are on different persuasions than me right now are saying, you know, maybe Trump isn’t wrong. We want to examine it.”
The video, released by al-Shabab’s media wing, also urges African-Americans to convert to Islam and take part in holy war. It says racism, police brutality and anti-Muslim sentiment are rife in the US.
In recent years, several Somali-Americans from Minnesota have gone to fight for al-Shabab in Somalia.
Al-Shabab, which seeks to overthrow Somalia’s Western-backed government and impose a strict version of Sharia, has carried out attacks in Kenya and Ethiopia.
Last month’s campaign statement from Donald Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims” entering the United States until the authorities could “figure out what is going on”.
Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has described Donald Trump as a “disgrace to America”.
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said on Twitter that Donald Trump should give up his presidential ambitions because he would never win.
It follows the Republican presidential hopeful’s call for Muslims to be barred from entering the US for security reasons.
Donald Trump tweeted back, calling the prince “dopey”.
“You are a disgrace not only to the GOP [Republican Party] but to all America,” Prince Alwaleed bin Talal tweeted.
“Withdraw from the US presidential race as you will never win.”
Donald Trump responded by accusing the prince of wanting to use what he called “daddy’s money” to control US politicians.
That would not happen, Donald Trump said, when he got elected.
The real estate mogul has been widely criticized for his call for a ban on Muslims entering the US.
On December 10, Damac Properties – a Dubai company building a golf complex with Donald Trump – removed his name and image from the property.
Donald Trump’s comments came following the San Bernardino shootings, carried out by two Muslims who the FBI said were radicalized.
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, 60, is the nephew of King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud. He completed a business degree in California in 1979.
The prince was named world’s richest Arab in Forbes’ 2015 list as he worth an estimated $32 billion.
He has stakes in Disney, 21st Century Fox, News Corp, Apple, GM, Twitter, and a string of hotel chains and luxury hotels, including the Plaza in New York and the George V in Paris.
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is the owner of 95% of Kingdom Holdings, a publicly-traded company on the Saudi stock exchange. He is considered Westernized and progressive on most issues. He champions women’s rights and most of his staff are women.
Donald Trump has said he will never leave the 2016 White House race despite increasing calls for him to step aside.
The Republican presidential hopeful told the Washington Post he would not step aside, no matter what.
The White House had said Donald Trump was “disqualified” from running after he said the US should ban Muslims from entering the country.
Donald Trump’s comments, in the wake of a deadly terror attack in California, drew global condemnation.
The latest world leader to reject his remarks was Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, who said Israel “respects all religions”, hours after Donald Trump announced he will be visiting the country this month.
Donald Trump is the current frontrunner among the Republicans running for president, six weeks before the primary contests begin for each party to pick their nominee.
He also alluded to running as an independent in a tweet linking to a USA Today poll which found 68% of his supporters would vote for him if he left the Republican Party.
Concerned that Donald Trump could run as an independent, the Republican leaders persuaded the real estate tycoon to pledge to support the eventual nominee.
However, Donald Trump has threatened to leave the Republican Party before if he was not “treated fairly”.
“My whole life is about winning. I don’t lose often. I almost never lose,” he told the Post.
Party officials fear a third-party Trump campaign would split the Republican vote, and give Democrats a winning advantage.
Although Donald Trump has consistently led in national polls for several months, a majority of voters view him unfavorably.
Republican congressman David Jolly has joined a number of commentators who have urged Donald Trump to withdraw from the race.
Donald Trump’s comments about Muslims came after the deadly shootings in San Bernardino, California.
He called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on”.
Former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush called Donald Trump “unhinged”. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said his comments were contrary to American values.
A petition calling for Donald Trump to be barred from entering the UK has gathered more than 250,000 names, so British lawmakers will have to consider debating the issue.
“They don’t know what they’re getting into,” Donald Trump wrote on Twitter about the petition.
The Pentagon has warned that Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric undermines US national security by boosting ISIS.
Donald Trump has said Muslims should be banned from entering the US, in the wake of the deadly San Bernardino attacks.
Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said such talk “bolsters ISIL’s narrative”, referring to ISIS.
There has been a global outcry since Donald Trump made his remarks.
Secretary of State John Kerry joined the onslaught of condemnation on December 8 when he said they were “not constructive” in the fight against ISIS.
The ISIS militants are the target of a US-led bombing campaign in Syria and Iraq.
Donald Trump announced his plan days after an attack in California raised US fears about homegrown terrorism.
A Muslim couple, believed to have been radicalized, opened fire and killed 14 people at a social center in San Bernardino, California.
One of the two perpetrators, Tashfeen Malik, reportedly pledged allegiance to ISIS on the day of the tragedy.
Responding to Donald Trump’s remarks, the Pentagon said a border closed to Muslims would harm American efforts to counter extremist ideology.
Without mentioning Donald Trump by name, Peter Cook said: “Anything that bolsters ISIL’s narrative and pits the United States against the Muslim faith is certainly not only contrary to our values but contrary to our national security.”
The Pentagon’s view echoed a tweet from Hillary Clinton that said Donald Trump’s proposed ban is “not only counter to our values – it plays right into the hands of terrorists”.
The outcry was swift as soon as Donald Trump said in a statement on December 7 that Muslims nursed a “hatred” towards America and should be banned “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on”.
The Republican presidential hopeful and reality TV star later said it would not apply to people living in the US.
Donald Trump defended the idea on December 8, comparing it to policies implemented by President Franklin Roosevelt during World War Two against Japanese, German and Italian people in the US.
Muslim leaders, the UN and foreign leaders have criticized the call as dangerous and divisive, while the White House said Donald Trump should be disqualified from the race.
Attempting to explain his comments, Donald Trump said parts of London were “so radicalized the police are afraid for their lives”.
Responding to the billionaire’s comments, London Mayor Boris Johnson said that was “ridiculous” and added: “The only reason I wouldn’t go to some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump.”
UK PM David Cameron said Donald Trump’s comments were “divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong”.
Republican leaders were strong in their condemnation. House Speaker Paul Ryan said: “What was proposed yesterday is not what this party stands for. And more importantly, it’s not what this country stands for.”
Donald Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the US have provoked condemnation from across the political spectrum.
The Republican presidential hopeful said all Muslims should be banned from entering the US.
Republicans, Democrats, Muslim leaders, the UN and foreign leaders criticized the call as dangerous and divisive.
Donald Trump said many Muslims nursed a “hatred” towards America.
The tycoon said they should be banned “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on”.
Donald Trump’s campaign manager said that would apply to “everybody” – would-be immigrants and tourists.
Photo Getty Images
However, Donald Trump told Fox News it would “not apply to people living in the country”, adding that Muslims serving in the US military would “come home”.
Donald Trump’s statement was delivered as the US comes to terms with its deadliest terror attack since 9/11.
Last week a Muslim couple, believed to have been radicalized, opened fire and killed 14 people at a health centre in San Bernardino.
Donald Trump’s proposed ban prompted a horrified reaction from Republicans and others.
Rival candidate Jeb Bush called Donald Trump “unhinged”, while former Vice-President Dick Cheney said it “goes against everything we stand for and believe in”.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest later challenged the Republican Party to denounce the leading candidate, and said that the proposal “disqualifies him from serving as president”.
Josh Earnest said that the Trump campaign had a “dustbin of history” quality to it, calling the candidate a “carnival barker” with “fake hair”.
UN refugee agency UNHCR said it was concerned that the rhetoric was putting an “incredibly important” resettlement program for vulnerable Syrian refugees at risk.
“Donald Trump sounds more like a leader of a lynch mob than a great nation like ours,” said Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
“These are not just words… Trump and Carson’s mainstreaming of Islamophobia in the election is inciting discrimination, hate crimes, violent attacks against Muslims and mosques.”
Donald Trump took part in heated interviews on several TV networks on December 8, defending the proposal and saying it was a temporary measure to prevent “many more World Trade Centers”.
On ABC’s Good Morning America, Donald Trump said “what I’m doing is no different than FDR,” referring to policies implemented by President Franklin Roosevelt during World War Two against Japanese, German and Italian people in the US. Some of those measures saw over 100,000 people detained in government camps.
At one point during a lengthy interview on MSNBC, presenter Joe Scarborough forced the network into a commercial break after the candidate repeatedly talked over journalists, refusing to answer questions.
Donald Trump’s statement to reporters on December 7 said polling by the Center for Security Policy, a conservative think-tank, suggested that 25% of Muslims in the US believed violence against America was justified.
“The hatred is beyond comprehension. Where this hatred comes from and why, we will have to determine.
“Until we [do]… our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in jihad.”
It is not the first time the New York billionaire has come under fire for anti-Muslim remarks.
After the terror attacks in Paris, he suggested they register on a database and he said the US should refuse all Syrian refugees. Then he said thousands of Muslims in New Jersey cheered during 9/11, despite no evidence.
Donald Trump’s travel ban pledge sparked loud cheers when he outlined it at a South Carolina rally hours after his initial statement.
A handful of supporters backed Donald Trump online, with controversial conservative commentator Ann Coulter tweeting: “GO TRUMP, GO!”
Another of the Republican frontrunners, Ted Cruz, praised Donald Trump “for standing up and focusing America’s attention on the need to secure our borders”, although he said he disagreed with the policy.