I would like to respond to the many constituents who have contacted me about President Trump.

 

There is no doubt that the new President is both a disruptive and divisive figure. He is unlike any previous President, and his actions have already caused concern to many at home and abroad.

 

However he is also the elected President, and commands a significant swathe of opinion in the US.

 

The UK should continue to regard the US, whoever is in the White House, as its most strategic partner and ally in many different areas, and it is right that we ensure that our relationship with the US continues and deepens where possible. Where we disagree with the President, as we do in respect of his recent statements on torture, and his ill thought through plans on travel to the States, we should say so clearly, as both the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary have done.

 

In respect of his visit to the UK, I feel that this should take place in due course, and I would not personally rush it. Speaking in Parliament will be a matter for the Houses of Parliament to decide, but I understand that this at present looks unlikely.

 

I do not think I will be likely to be listening to him personally, though I recognise how important it is for the UK to have influence with the US, perhaps even more so where we disagree. The House of Commons will now be debating the e-petitions on the President’s visit on 20 February.