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Trump protests across UK as MPs debate petition

Protests are set to take place across the UK against Donald Trump, as the upcoming state visit by the US president is debated in Parliament.

MPs will consider Theresa May’s invitation for Mr Trump to meet the Queen in response to a petition signed by 1.8 million people.

Some 20,000 people are expected to gather for a rally outside Parliament.

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According to the Stop Trump coalition website, protests against the president and in support of migrants will also be held in Manchester, Liverpool, Nottingham, Leicester, Brighton, Bristol, Leeds, Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

In Westminster Hall, MPs will debate the petition, which calls for the visit – due later this year – to be stripped of the trappings of a state occasion, to avoid causing “embarrassment” to the Queen.

An alternative petition, backed by nearly 312,000 people, demanding the state visit goes ahead will also be considered.

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In its official response, the Government stressed ministers believe “the president of the United States should be extended the full courtesy of a state visit”.

“We look forward to welcoming President Trump once dates and arrangements are finalised,” the response said.

The Stop Trump coalition has called a nationwide day of action and dozens of protests have been coordinated by the One Day Without Us movement celebrating the contribution immigrants make to British society.

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Speakers including joint Green Party leader Caroline Lucas and comic Shappi Khorsandi.

Celebrities including Paloma Faith are backing the action. She said: “I’m backing the protests because I believe in human rights and compassion and Trump evidently does not.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has backed calls for the state visit to be cancelled, hitting out at the president’s “cruel and shameful” policies.

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Commons Speaker John Bercow has also become embroiled in the row after effectively banning Mr Trump from addressing MPs and peers during his visit.

A motion of no confidence in Mr Bercow was tabled as MPs left for the February recess. With Parliament returning on Monday, an idea could emerge of the numbers who back the move.

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