THERESA MAY has been accused of being “insensitive” to growing public anger in her desire to push ahead with Donald Trump’s state visit.
Former shadow minister and veteran Labour MP Paul Flynn wrote to the PM asking her to cancel or postpone the invitation given there was “widespread talk of impeachment” surrounding Mr Trump.
However Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan said the government stood by the invitation.
Writing to Mr Flynn, revealed today, he insisted the event was an opportunity to “further advance” the close relationship between the US and Britain.
Mr Duncan said British officials have yet to finalise what the US president would do on his visit while also reiterating no date has been fixed for the controversial event.
He wrote: “You will be aware, as the member of the petitions committee who led the debate in Westminster Hall on February 20, that I said ‘this is a special moment for the special relationship.
“The visit should happen. The visit will happen.” The precise timing and programme for the visit is yet to be finalised.
“The government’s position has not changed on this matter, the US is one of our closest allies and a state visit is an opportunity to further advance that important relationship.”
Mr Flynn criticised the government’s stance and said opposition has “almost certainly risen” since the invitation was debated in Parliament in February, which was triggered by a petition claiming a state visit would “cause embarrassment” to Elizabeth Windsor.
The petition attracted more than 1.8 million signatures while a separate one backing Mr Trump’s state visit received 317,542 signatures.
And the visit received no mention in the Queen’s Speech, fuelling speculation it had been put on the backburner.
This came after the White House denied reports Mr Trump had told Ms May he did not want to go ahead with the trip if it is going to lead to large-scale demonstrations.
Mr Flynn accused the government of being insensitive and said: “An invitation was premature at best and entirely misconceived at worst.
“Almost two million people signed a petition objecting to the visit in February.
“Since then the number objecting has almost certainly risen and there was an absence of a mention of the visit by the Queen.”