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Dublin: 12 °C Friday 6 December, 2019

Jeremy Corbyn turns down invitation to state banquet for Donald Trump

Corbyn said May “should not be rolling out the red carpet for a state visit”.

Image: PA Wire/PA Images

UK LABOUR LEADER Jeremy Corbyn has declined an invitation to a banquet with US president Donald Trump when he visits in June, accusing him of using “racist and misogynist rhetoric”.

Prime Minister “Theresa May should not be rolling out the red carpet for a state visit,” Corbyn said in a statement.

He said that Trump “rips up vital international treaties, backs climate change denial and uses racist and misogynist rhetoric”, although he added that he would welcome a meeting with Trump during the 3-5 June visit.

Corbyn said it was “disappointing that the prime minister has again opted to kowtow to this US administration”.

House of Commons speaker John Bercow, who has ruled out allowing Trump to address parliament, and Vince Cable, leader of the opposition Liberal Democrats, have already declined the invitation to the dinner.

State dinners for visiting heads of state are usually held at Buckingham Palace and are lavish affairs.

May invited Trump for a state visit when she visited him in January 2017 – just days after he took office.

The invitation proved controversial and an online petition to cancel it reached 1.9 million signatures.

The president, a strong supporter of Brexit, travelled to the UK last year but only on a working visit without the pomp and ceremony associated with state visits.

Activists are planning to stage protests when Trump visits. 

- © AFP 2019 with reporting from Cormac Fitzgerald

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