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Criticism grows over British parliamentary speaker’s Trump diatribe

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Donald TrumpBritish politicians and media intensified their criticism of the speaker of parliament’s main house on Tuesday after he opposed US President Donald Trump addressing parliament, accusing him of racism, sexism and attacks on judicial independence.

Conservative lawmaker Nadhim Zahawi urged Speaker John Bercow to explain his opposition to Trump while accepting speeches in parliament by leaders of nations with well-documented human rights problems, such as Kuwait and China.

The right-wing Daily Mail said Bercow had “boiled over with a self-important outburst” late Monday, while the centre-right Daily Telegraph quoted unidentified lawmakers who accused him of “playing student politics.”

Trump is expected to make a state visit to Britain despite mounting opposition from politicians and members of the public, raising speculation that he could speak in parliament, as several other national leaders have done during state visits.

Bercow said he valued Britain’s relationship with the United States but felt “very strongly” that Britain’s “opposition to racism and to sexism” and its “support for equality before the law and an independent judiciary are hugely important considerations in the House of Commons.”

Bercow is one of three officials who would need to agree to any speech in parliament if they are requested to organize one by the government.

In his role as speaker of the House of Commons, parliament’s lower house, he is required to maintain political impartiality, and many critics argued that he breached that rule on Monday.

Source: GNA

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