The British Parliament held a debate on Monday over a petition calling for U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump to be banned from the UK.
Although the British government has already signalled that the businessman-turned-politician will not be barred, this parliamentary session marks a rare intervention by British lawmakers into Trump’s campaign.
During the three-hour debate, British legislators from the country’s main parties called Trump an attention-seeker, a fool and a demagogue. Parliament took up the topic after over 500,000 people signed a petition calling for the U.S. presidential candidate to be excluded over his call for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S.
Under British law, a petition supported by at least 100,000 people is considered for parliamentary debate. Under immigration rules, the British government can bar a person it believes to be not conducive to the public good.
Prime Minister David Cameron has condemned Donald Trump’s comments about Muslims as “divisive, stupid and wrong,” but disagreed with banning the U.S. presidential candidate. Several lawmakers judged that banning Trump would betray the principles of free speech.
Sarah Malone, executive vice-president of Trump International Golf Links said “Westminster is creating a dangerous precedent on this issue and is sending a terrible message to the world.”