UK Petition Would Ban Donald Trump from Entering England

From the WSJ:

LONDON—A petition calling for a ban on Donald Trump from entering the U.K. has gathered more than 200,000 signatures, more than double the total required to trigger a possible parliamentary debate on the issue, amid growing global condemnation of the U.S. presidential hopeful’s remarks.

Republican Mr. Trump has drawn widespread criticism for a string of incendiary remarks that began when he said earlier this week that there should be a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the U.S until authorities better understand their attitudes. He later said there were places in London and elsewhere that “are so radicalized that the police are afraid for their own lives,” in remarks to MSNBC.

The petition, which was posted on the U.K. parliament’s official petitions website on Tuesday afternoon, says Mr. Trump should be banned from entering the U.K. for inciting hate.

Petitions that attract 100,000 signatures are considered for parliamentary debate by a cross-party panel of lawmakers. While petitions that reach that threshold of signatures are usually debated, the committee won’t meet to discuss the issue until Jan. 5, parliament’s media office said.

Mr. Trump’s campaign couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

In a message on Twitter , Mr. Trump said the people who had signed the parliamentary petition, “don’t know what they are getting into.” That message was a response to an earlier Twitter message on the usual feed of British television presenter and journalist Piers Morgan, asking whether any of the signatories to the Trump petition had ever signed a petition to ban U.K. terror suspects returning from Iraq or Syria.

The British government can exclude an individual it believes to be not conducive for the public good under immigration rules. Among high-profile individuals the government has banned on such grounds is singer Snoop Dogg—whose real name is Calvin Broadus—following a 2006 scuffle at London’s Heathrow Airport between the rapper’s entourage and police. The ban was lifted in 2010.

The U.K. government said on Wednesday that it wouldn’t prevent Mr. Trump from entering but said it strongly disagreed with his comments. The government has not responded formally to the petition, something it usually does within 14 days.

“I think the best way to confront the views of someone like Donald Trump is to engage in a robust democratic argument with him about why he is profoundly wrong about the contribution of American Muslims and indeed British Muslims…rather than trying to ban presidential candidates,” Treasury chief George Osborne, the prime minister’s deputy, said in parliament Wednesday.

Mr. Trump’s comments fly in the face of the founding principles of the U.S., Mr. Osborne said, adding that views stated by the presidential candidate were “nonsense” and “not welcome.”

A Downing Street spokeswoman Tuesday said Prime Minister David Cameron thought Mr. Trump’s comments on banning Muslims from entering the U.S. were “divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong.” It is unusual for a serving British prime minister to comment on remarks by a U.S. presidential hopeful.

In Scotland, the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon withdrew Mr. Trump’s membership of the GlobalScot network, a worldwide network of business contacts who aim to help Scottish companies develop, with immediate effect on Wednesday. Mr. Trump, whose mother was Scottish and who owns a golf resort in Scotland, was invited to join the GlobalScot network in 2006.

“Mr. Trump’s recent remarks have shown that he is no longer fit to be a business ambassador for Scotland,” the Scottish government statement said.

The petition was launched by Suzanne Kelly. A person by the same name has launched a separate petition asking the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland, to strip Mr. Trump of an honorary degree did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment.

The university confirmed on Wednesday that it had stripped Mr. Trump of the degree, which it said it had awarded in recognition of his professional achievements. During his campaign, Mr. Trump had “made a number of statements that are wholly incompatible with the ethos and values of the university,” the university said.

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