“Should a state visit go ahead, President Trump would not be welcome in the borough,” said the Greenwich resolution, which was passed last week. Greenwich is one of 32 boroughs of the city.
In addition, the resolution expressed “alarm” that Trump retweeted “Islamophobic propaganda” and “sadness” at the president’s attitude toward women and minorities.
This Council notes with alarm the decision by Donald Trump, President of the United States to ‘retweet’ Islamophobic propaganda from the Britain First Twitter account. Council further notes with sadness the President’s bigoted attitude towards women and ethnic minorities which has resulted in examples of division and hatred within the USA. As such, Council calls upon the Government to abandon plans to invite Donald Trump on a State visit to the UK. Council further calls upon the government to use funding that would have been spent on Security for such a state visit to fund charities such as the Jo Cox Foundation that promote peace and understanding. Council notes the positive impact of the work it has undertaken with The Greenwich Inclusion Project; Greenwich Action for Voluntary Services; faith groups and community groups throughout the Royal Borough. As such, Council reiterates its commitment to working with residents to strengthen community relations. Council notes with regret that this Borough’s commitment to maintaining a strong and vibrant community is incompatible with the ideology and policies espoused by President Trump. As such, should the Government choose [to] go ahead with State Visit, this Council makes clear that President Trump would not be welcome in the Borough.
The president’s retweet in November of anti-Muslim videos posted by the hate group Britain First set off an international row. Prime Minister Theresa May slammed Trump for the retweet. “Britain First seeks to divide communities through their use of hateful narratives which peddle lies and stoke tensions,” May said in a statement.
Trump lashed back, first in a tweet directed to the wrong Theresa May: “Don’t focus on me, focus on the Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place in your country.” He then sent the tweet to the prime minister.
In its new crackdown on hate groups, Twitter on Monday barred Britain First.
The leader of the Greenwich body, Denise Hyland, said the council “on a daily basis [works] hand in hand with residents from all communities to ensure this borough is a peaceful and welcoming place that celebrates difference and diversity. But in the case of President Trump, we are willing to make an exception.”
As one of the “most multi-cultural London boroughs, we are a place that has worked tirelessly to break down barriers,” she added. “We have no time for people who want to build walls, when we have done so much to break them down.”
U.S. Ambassador to Britain Woody Johnson said last week that he expects Trump’s visit to the U.K. to go ahead, despite the controversy among Brits over his presence. The “working visit” initially planned for January was supposed to be a stripped-down state visit that would not include a visit with the queen. But even that was quickly delayed after the Britain First dust-up. Another date has yet to be arranged.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who is Muslim, called on May to completely cancel the visit after Trump’s Britain First tweet. “President Trump uses Twitter to promote a vile, extremist group that exists solely to sow division and hatred in our country,” Khan said in a statement. “It’s increasingly clear that any official visit from President Trump to Britain would not be welcomed.”