John Bercow: Donald Trump should not speak in Parliament
John Bercow: Donald Trump should not speak in Parliament

John Bercow: Donald Trump should not speak in Parliament

John Bercow defended his opposition to Donald Trump addressing Parliament, saying he acted “honesty and honourably”.

John Bercow told MPs in the Commons on Tuesday he was carrying out his responsibilities “honestly and honourably” by speaking out against the US President.

The Commons Speaker faced criticism from some quarters over his remarks, including from the Speaker of the Lords, Lord Fowler.

Lord Fowler said he was “not consulted” on Mr Bercow’s decision to oppose the idea of President Trump addressing parliament and would be keeping “an open mind” for any request for the US leader to give a speech.

Conservative former defence minister Sir Gerald Howarth also reacted to Mr Bercow’s comments on Monday stating they had “caused some of us some concern”.

In reply, John Bercow said he “didn’t want to rerun the debate” but said he was commenting within his role as Speaker.

He said: “While I completely understand that there can be different views about this matter, and we’ve heard some of them, which should always and all be treated with respect, I was commenting on a matter that does fall within the remit of the chair.

“The House has always understood that the chair has a role in these matters.

“If you disagree with the means of my exercising it, that is one point, or if you don’t always approve of my manner … so be it.

“I was honestly and honourably seeking to discharge my responsibilities to the House.”

The Speaker was applauded in the Commons on Monday after speaking out against Mr Trump addressing Parliament, which ignited controversy over granting him a state visit.

John Bercow said Mr Trump’s travel ban on seven predominantly Muslim countries meant he was “even more strongly” opposed inviting the US President to Britain on a State visit.


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