PHOTO: UK Speaker of Parliament John Bercow
The British press is dominated this morning by Monday’s remarks by UK Speaker of Parliament John Bercow that Donald Trump is not fit to address MPs because of Parliament’s opposition “to racism and to sexism”.
Bercow’s remarks follow discussion, since Prime Minister Theresa May’s meeting with Trump on January 27, of a State visit by the US President to London. The possibility has been complicated by Trump’s “Muslim ban”, issued only hours after the photo opportunity with May, and widespread protests with a petition gathering more than 1.6 signatures.
Scott Lucas speaks with BBC outlets, explaining how Bercow’s remarks may have quietly negotiated with a May Government trying to get itself out of a difficult position.
Theresa May would be in a difficult position to say flat-out to Trump, “No, you can’t come over here,” having invoked the special relationship during that trip to Washington. I think officials in 10 Downing Street know that there are difficulties, and there may have been quiet words with the Speaker so he could put out a very effective message.
The University of Birmingham’s Adam Quinn talks to CNN about Trump’s latest attack on the media, with the false accusation that journalists are covering up attacks by “radical Islamic terrorists”, as well as Speaker of Parliament Bercow’s statement:
If Trump means that there are major terrorist attacks successfully occurring and they are not being reported, that’s untrue. And if he means there’s a media conspiracy in general, that’s ridiculous.
As for the rebuke from Britain:
If Trump can play the victim, say it’s an outrage that he has been insulted and then not have to do the speech, that may not be the worst scenario for the likes of him.