Issue a a prohibition order

Britain’s ambassador to the US made a formal protest yesterday.

Theresa May condemned the president’s decision on Wednesday to share propaganda videos tweeted by the deputy leader of Britain First and is expected to address the issue again in a speech in the Middle East on Thursday.

But government sources revealed that Sir Kim Darroch, the ambassador to Washington, had already raised the issue formally.

In Westminster, MPs lined up to condemn the president’s behaviour, and urge the government to formally cancel the state visit invitation made by May when she became the first world leader to visit the Trump White House last year.

But the home secretary said nope we’re not going to cancel…but she also said that no date had been sent. Could be one of those jam tomorrow things.

Privately, government ministers do not expect such a visit to take place in the foreseeable future, amid concerns about the possibility of widespread protests.

And there’s zero reason to think Trump will become less awful (and plenty of reason to think he will only become worse), so “foreseeable future” probably means ever.

Chris Bryant, a senior Labour backbencher, has written to May urging her to go further, and officially ban Trump from entering the UK on the grounds he is condoning fascism and his presence is “not conducive to the public good”.

Bryant, a former Foreign Office minister, said the prime minister should issue a prohibition order against the president like those that apply to other far-right figures from the US.

Wouldn’t that be great? It won’t happen, but it’s a lovely fantasy.

He cited the cases of two US far-right bloggers, Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller, who were banned by May in 2013 from entering the UK to take part in English Defence League rallies, as precedents for taking action against Trump.

In his letter to May, he said: “I am writing to you to ask you and the home secretary to take immediate action to ban the president of the United States, Donald Trump, from entering the United Kingdom, due to his apparent support for far-right groups in this country.

“In retweeting Jayda Fransen’s posts, it is absolutely clear to me that President Trump is supporting and condoning fascism and far-right activity. This activity has frequently taken the form of violence on our streets. Ms Fransen herself has a long history of racism and Islamophobia, some of it criminal. Many of the people you have rightly banned from entering the UK were guilty of less than this.”

In parliament, Doughty said the president’s decision to share Britain First material showed he was “racist, unthinking or incompetent – or all three”.

Oh yes, he’s all three, and more.

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