The petition asks for the official state visit to be rejected “because it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen.”
“America is a huge important ally. We have to think long term,” a Downing Street source told the BBC.
Over 900 thousand people have so far signed the online petition. A threshold of 100 thousand is required for Parliament to consider debating a motion.
The BBC source reportedly said a rejection of Trump’s state visit would be a “populist gesture” and would “undo everything.” UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced Trump’s visit to the UK during her visit to the White House last week. No date has been set for the visit, expected to happen during 2017.
The petition originally began after Trump was elected in November 2016, but gathered pace over the weekend following the announcement of his ‘Muslim ban’ executive order on Friday.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn criticized May over Trump’s planned visit, saying she “would be failing the British people if she does not postpone the state visit & condemn Trump’s actions in the clearest terms.”
He tweeted Sunday urging people to support the petition.
.@Theresa_May would be failing the British people if she does not postpone the state visit & condemn Trump’s actions in the clearest terms
— Jeremy Corbyn MP (@jeremycorbyn) January 29, 2017
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron hit out at the government over news the petition had been rejected, saying they were accommodating “this nasty misogynist all because they are desperate for a #Brexit trade deal.”
— Tim Farron (@timfarron) January 30, 2017