Petition calls for Trump state visit to the UK to be blocked

A petition calling for the withdrawal of the invitation to newly elected US President Donald Trump to make an official state visit to the UK has attracted a huge number of signatures.

The petition was provoked by Theresa May's announcement in a joint press conference with the US President that Mr Trump had accepted the invitation to make a state visit to the UK later this year.

The petition, launched on Sunday, gained over 500k signatures within only a few hours of being published. In the same evening, it was listed as among the most popular petitions on the UK Government website.

Trump visit will cause 'embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen'

The petition argues that allowing the US president an officially recognised and endorsed state visit would 'cause embarrassment to the Queen. It argues that while he should be allowed to enter the UK in his capacity as head of the US Government, such a visit should not carry royal endorsement. It further argues that the president would be a source of embarrassment because of his outspoken and controversial views, including his 'well-documented misogyny and vulgarity'.

women's march against Trump

The petition follows the women's marches against Trump which took place across the US and UK, on the first full day following the US president's inauguration.

The biggest demonstration was in Washington DC, whilst organisers of the London march claimed that 100,000 had attended.

Parliament will consider a debate on the issue

As the petition has passed 100,000 signatures, the Government will respond to the petition. Parliament will also consider debating whether to allow Trump to make a state visit – but there is no obligation on them to do so.

social media storm

The huge volume of people signing the petition is largely a result of the vast numbers of shares on Facebook and retweets on Twitter.

On Twitter, Dr Alex Gates (@dr_alex_gates) reflected the general mood, tweeting ' Fight fire with fire you say, Donald? Then if you insist on #MuslimBan the UK will insist on #TrumpBan!'

On Facebook, Kay Dickinson commented, 'The anti-trump petition has struck a chord with people across the political divide'.

At 6.30pm on the day it was launched, the petition was attracting around 66,000 signatures per hour.