WATCH: Applause after House of Commons plans Trump snub

Speaker John Bercow made his feelings perfectly clear

WATCH: Applause after House of Commons plans Trump snub

Commons Speaker John Bercow speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London | Image: PA PA Wire/PA Images

In London, the House of Commons Speaker John Bercow has vetoed US President Donald Trump addressing the British parliament during his state visit to the UK later this year.

He was cheered loudly and applauded by MPs after he denounced the president, and said he would refuse to invite him to Westminster.

The applause came at the end of a lengthy statement from Mr Bercow in which he said the House of Commons believes in equality and an independent judiciary.

Mr Bercow's bombshell announcement came in response to a plea from UK Labour MP Steve Doughty, who has tabled a motion calling on the parliamentary authorities to withhold permission.

Responding to Mr Doughty, Mr Bercow said there was no automatic right for foreign leaders to address the parliament during a visit to the UK, it was an earned honour.

He told MPs: "There are many precedents for state visits to take place to our country which do not include an address to both Houses of Parliament."

"The second point is in relation to Westminster Hall there are three key holders to Westminster Hall, the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Speaker of the House of Lords and the Lord Great Chamberlain.

"Ordinarily we are able to work by consensus and the hall would be used for a purpose such as an address or another purpose by agreement of the three key holders.

"I must say to you, to all who signed your early day motion and to others with strong views about this matter on either side of the argument that before the imposition of the migrant ban I would myself have been strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall.

"After the imposition of the migrant ban by President Trump I am even more strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall."

Mr Bercow went on: "We value our relationship with the United States. If a state visit takes place, that is way beyond and above the pay grade of the speaker.

"However, as far as this place is concerned, I feel very strongly that our opposition to racism and to sexism and our support for equality before the law, and an independent judiciary, are hugely important considerations in the House of Commons."

On the question of whether President Trump should speak in the Royal Gallery rather than Westminster Hall, Mr Bercow added: "So far as the Royal Gallery is concerned, and again I operate on advice, I do not perhaps have as strong a say in that matter.

"It is in a different part of the building although customarily an invitation to a visiting leader to deliver an address there would be issued in the names of the two speakers."

But he told MPs: "I would not wish to issue an invitation to President Trump to speak in the Royal Gallery."

Immediately after the applause, veteran left-wing MP Dennis Skinner rose and told Mr Bercow: "Two words: well done!".

Mr Bercow then responded: "I will let the applause go this time."

Reacting to Mr Bercow's statement, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said: "This is the right decision by the speaker.

"The prime minister might wish to kowtow to the nasty misogynist that now sits in the Oval Office but no-one else does. We do not want him to speak to us. He is not welcome.

"Speaking within parliament is a rare honour, the highest honour we can offer.

"In the past, we have hosted speeches from leaders in equality, justice and human rights, from Mandela to Obama to Aung San Suu Kyi. Trump is not fit to shine their shoes."

Only a select few world leaders have addressed the Commons and Lords.

US Presidents Reagan and Clinton spoke in the Royal Gallery.

While some other leaders have had to address parliament from the Queen's Robing Room in the Lords.

But with Barack Obama having been allowed to make his own speech in Westminster Hall in 2011, Mr Bercow's intervention is seen as a huge snub to the new president.