Why I signed a petition against President Trump making a State Visit to the United Kingdom

A letter to my MP

Prevent Donald Trump from making a State Visit to the United Kingdom


Dear Mr Cunningham,

I have recently signed a petition calling on Parliament to consider withdrawing the invitation to President Donald Trump to make a state visit to the United Kingdom. I understand this petition, which to date has over 1.8 million signatures, will be debated in Parliament on 20 February. I would urge you to support this petition.

Since coming to office in January, President Trump has shown himself to be totally unsuitable as a world leader. The policies he has sought to implement through executive actions have been damaging to his own citizens as well as more globally threatening to world security, justice and human rights. In my view these executive actions betray deep-seated attitudes in the President which pay little regard to human rights, respect for all peoples, or care for our global environment.

In particular, his executive order of 27 January temporarily barring people from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the USA, along with an indefinite ban on Syrians from entering, appears ill-conceived and inflammatory, and his response to a judicial ruling on the order betrays an attitude of disrespect for due processes of law. Similarly, his executive orders on building a wall along the border with Mexico, and withdrawing funding for sanctuary cities could seriously contravene the basic rights to free movement of many people.

His presidential memoranda approving the construction of two oil pipelines shows a disrespect for the rights of his own indigenous populations, along with his recognised denial of the impact on the environment of the continued use of fossil fuels.

Furthermore, his statement that he considers the use of torture acceptable is a blatant contradiction of the Geneva Conventions and a serious threat to human rights.

It seems to me that these and other executive actions are not isolated aberrations, but betray deep-seated attitudes that were apparent both during the election campaign and since taking office: attitudes of disrespect for women, foreign nationals, those of other religions, and indigenous peoples. I, along with many other people in this country and around the world – including his own citizens in the USA – find such attitudes deeply offensive, divisive and potentially dangerous in a world leader.

While I recognise that, as Head of State of the USA, it is important that our government works with President Trump and with his government, I am deeply concerned that he is being invited to visit the UK on a state visit. Such a visit, hosted by our Queen, who has been a true world leader for human rights and respect for all peoples, would in my view be totally inappropriate. It would place Her Majesty in a compromising position, and would appear to endorse and lend approval to President Trump’s policies and to the underlying discriminatory attitudes.

I hope therefore that you will lend your support to this petition and urge the Prime Minister to withdraw the invitation.

Yours sincerely



Dr Peter Sidebotham