UK Politics

May: I won't chase headlines over Trump ban

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Media captionTheresa May: He leads a protest, I lead the country

The government will not "chase the headlines" over Donald Trump's controversial travel ban, Theresa May has told MPs.

The prime minister defended her response to the US president's executive order banning people from seven mainly Muslim countries.

Labour's Jeremy Corbyn asked "just what President Trump has to do" for his UK state invitation to be withdrawn.

The PM accused Labour of insulting the UK's most important ally.

"The job of government is not to chase the headlines," she said during Prime Minister's Questions, later adding of Mr Corbyn: "He can lead a protest, I am leading a country."

Mr Corbyn attacked Mrs May over her response to the US immigration crackdown, which includes halting the country's entire refugee programme for 120 days and has sparked protests around the world.

The PM had said she was not afraid to speak frankly to the president, he said, adding: "What happened?"

Mrs May said the migration policy was "divisive and wrong" and not something her government would consider, adding that the UK had a "proud history" of standing up for refugees.

Mr Corbyn also demanded to know whether President Trump had told her about his plans during her visit to Washington and if she had tried to persuade him to change course.

The PM said she had no advance notice of the executive order or how British nationals would be affected.

She added that "we all" knew there would be "travel restrictions", because "President Trump said he was going to do this in his election campaign".

Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage defended the US president in a speech in the European Parliament, accusing EU leaders who criticised the migration crackdown of "anti-Americanism".

"Trump is motivated by protecting the United States of America from Islamic terrorism," he said.

"I'm sure it's a great shock to you to see that a genuinely elected democrat is doing what he was put in to do."