John Bercow says his piece [Image: Parliament TV/The Guardian].

Say what you like about House of Commons Speaker John Bercow, this week he set a glowing example of why Westminster is the Mother of all Parliaments and the fountainhead of democracy – by refusing to invited the enemy of democracy, Donald Trump, to speak there.

Mr Bercow told MPs he did not have the power to block the state visit invitation extended to Trump by Theresa May, but emphatically stated that he would use his authority to prevent Mr Trump from speaking in the 11th-century Westminster Hall.

He was responding to a point of order by Stephen Doughty, referring to an Early Day Motion signed by 170 MPs from both sides of the House of Commons, regarding offering the honour of a speech to both Houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall or elsewhere in the Palace of Westminster.

Here’s what he said:

What I will say is this – an address by a foreign leader to both houses of Parliament is not an automatic right, it is an earned honour. Moreover there are many precedents for state visits to take place to our country which do not include an address to both houses of Parliament.

“The second point is in relation to Westminster Hall there are three keyholders to Westminster Hall, the Speaker of the Commons, the Speaker of the House of Lords and the Lord Great Chamberlain – ordinarily we are able to work by consensus and the hall would be used for a purpose such as an address… I must say to the Honourable Gentleman, to all who signed his Early Day Motions and to others… that before the imposition of the migrant ban I would myself have been strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall. After the imposition of the migrant ban by President Trump I am even more strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall.

“So far as the Royal Gallery is concerned… I do not perhaps have as strong a say in that matter… although customarily an invitation to a visiting leader to deliver an address there would be issued in the names of the two speakers – I would not wish to issue an invitation to President Trump.

“We value our relationship with the United States, if a state visit takes place that is way beyond and above the pay grade of the Speaker. However, as far as this place is concerned I feel very strongly that our opposition to racism and to sexism and our support for equality before the law and an independent judiciary are hugely important considerations in the House of Commons.”

“Before the imposition of the migrant ban I would myself have been strongly opposed.”

“After the imposition of the migrant ban by President Trump I am even more strongly opposed.”

“Our opposition to racism and to sexism and our support for equality before the law and an independent judiciary are hugely important considerations in the House of Commons.”

Strong words, well said – applauded by many MPs and earning high praise (“Well done”) from the Beast of Bolsover, Dennis Skinner.

Sadly, it seems this approbation did not extend to the Government benches, where MPs from the Conservative Party – of which Mr Bercow was a member before taking on his non-political role as Speaker – sat in stony silence.

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