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Petition to Ban Trump's State Visit to UK Reaches 1M Signatures

by Alexander Smith /  / Updated 
Image: Counting And Regional Declarations Take Place For The EU Referendum
Dawn breaks over Parliament on June 23, 2016 in London.Chris J Ratcliffe / Getty Images

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LONDON — A petition to cancel President Donald Trump's state visit to the United Kingdom topped 1 million signatures Monday.

However, the British government said it would be going ahead with the event as planned.

"This ban is shameful, while this ban is in place we should not be rolling out the red carpet for President Trump"

The petition, which was launched Sunday, said that Trump should be allowed to enter the U.K. "in his capacity as head of the U.S. government," but suggested that the official state visit should be canceled "because it would cause embarrassment" to Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.

"Donald Trump's well-documented misogyny and vulgarity disqualifies him from being received by Her Majesty the Queen or the Prince of Wales," it added, referring to the Queen and her son, Prince Charles, who is second in line to the throne. "Therefore, during the term of his presidency, Donald Trump should not be invited to the United Kingdom for an official state visit."

The British Parliament must consider debating any petition that reaches more than 100,000 signatures.

However, a spokesman for the British government told NBC News on Monday that the state visit would be going ahead as planned. "The invitation for the state visit has been extended and accepted," he said.

A government source told the BBC that canceling the state visit would be a "populist gesture" and would "undo everything."

Trump's state visit was announced during British Prime Minister Theresa May's visit to the U.S. last week. No details were confirmed but it's expected to happen later this year.

The petition was launched the same weekend that Trump's travel restrictions on seven Muslim-majority countries drew protest and sharp criticism from across the U.S. and abroad.

Among the petition's backers are Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party, and Shami Chakrabarti, who told the BBC that the U.K. government's position "sounds like appeasement."

Other party leaders, including the Liberal Democrats' boss Tim Farron and the Scottish National Party's foreign affairs spokesman, Alex Salmond, have also cast doubt over Trump's visit.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan went further, telling Sky News: "I am quite clear, this ban is cruel, this ban is shameful, while this ban is in place we should not be rolling out the red carpet for President Trump."

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