(CNSNews.com) - In an extraordinary session on Monday, British lawmakers debated a petition to deny U.S. President Donald Trump an official state visit to the United Kingdom.
British Prime Minister Theresa May is standing by the invitation she issued to Trump during her January 27 visit to the White House, despite a petition signed by 1.8 million people. That petition says Trump should be allowed to enter the U.K. in his capacity as head of state, but he should not be accorded the honor of a state visit.
State visit opponents, led by members of the Labor Party, said it would embarrass the queen to receive Trump, a man who once bragged about grabbing women by the genitals.
But in defense of Trump's State Visit, Conservative Party lawmaker Nigel Evans noted that the American political and entertainment elite "sneered" at the notion of Trump becoming president, but 61 million Americans -- "the forgotten people" -- felt otherwise and put Trump in office.
Now we may not like some of the things that he says, and I certainly don't like some of the things that he said in the past, but I do respect the fact that he stood on a platform that he is now delivering.
He is going to go down in history roundly condemned for being the only politician to deliver on his promises. I know that's a peculiar -- a peculiar thing in the politics that we're used to here, that politicians actually stand up for something, and they deliver on them but the fact is, he is.
Evans said when the British people condemn Trump for being racist without evidence; or attack him in "an unseemly way," they are actually attacking the Americans who voted for Trump.
In his argument to deny Trump a state visit, Labor Party lawmaker Paul Flynn emphasized the close ties between the United States and Britain. "And there's no question of disrespect," he said.
Flynn described Trump's manner and behavior throughout the election period as "greatly worrying," and he also expressed concern about the actions Trump has taken since becoming president -- "blundering" in to conflicts around the world.
"I believe that from the 7th day of his presidency, things have got far worse," said Flynn.
And even though the queen has met with controversial world leaders in the past, Flynn said there's no reason to repeat the errors of the past.
Since the 1950s, only two U.S. presidents have made official state visits to the U.K.: Barack Obama in 2011 and George W. Bush in November 2003. (President Ronald Reagan met with Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in England on three occasions, but none was a state visit.)