Birmingham & Black Country

'Ban Trump from Birmingham', says Liam Byrne petition

US President Donald Trump walks off Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, United States Image copyright AFP
Image caption Liam Byrne said Mr Trump's visit would leave a large security bill

More than 1,000 people have signed an MP's online petition calling for US President Donald Trump to be "banned" from Birmingham.

Liam Byrne, Labour MP for the city's Hodge Hill, started the petition after the Daily Telegraph reported his state visit could be moved to the Midlands.

Mr Byrne said a visit by Mr Trump, whose policies have sparked global protests, would be "divisive".

Downing Street said arrangements would be "announced in due course".

'Unity in community'

More than 1.8 million people have signed a petition urging the government to call off Mr Trump's state visit to the UK, amid a row over his immigration measures.

For more Birmingham and Black Country news

A counter-petition in support of Mr Trump's state visit has attracted about 300,000 supporters. Its originator Alan Brown said the president should come as the UK supports free speech.

Birmingham was among places where protesters gathered in response to Mr Trump's travel ban on seven countries.

The Daily Telegraph article said the president could address a rally in Birmingham as the government tried to save the visit.

But Mr Byrne's petition said "We the undersigned wish to ban him from our great city".

Image caption Liam Byrne said Mr Trump should not be invited to Birmingham

The MP told the BBC: "I think the result of him coming to Birmingham would be very divisive.

"We would land up with a whopping great security bill that the West Midlands Police would have to pick up.

"I think right now, what we really need is a bit of unity in the community rather than people coming in and trying to divide us."

Image copyright Craig Hamilton
Image caption Protesters gathered in Birmingham city centre earlier this month

But Birmingham Chamber of Commerce backed Mr Trump visiting the city.

Chamber spokesman John Lamb said: "The business community is quite fascinated by Donald Trump and he is a democratically-elected leader; a world leader - an important world leader- so why not?"

Downing Street said the state visit will take place and the two countries' "special relationship" allowed for "frank conversations at all times".

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites