More than 875,000 people have signed a petition demanding Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK be cancelled in the wake of his Muslim travel ban.
The enormous response easily passed the 100,000 target needed for MPs to consider holding a debate on the motion in the House of Commons this morning, with more and more people flocking to sign it.
It is currently rising at an average of more than 1,000 signatures per minute and is already the third most popular petition in Parliament’s history.
Plans for a state visit for President Trump were only announced 48 hours ago when Theresa May revealed he had accepted an invitation from the Queen.
But the call for action is still a long way off the largest Parliamentary petition in history when more than 4million people demanded a second referendum over EU membership.
The high-profile visit was scheduled for later this year and was set to feature the usual full pomp and ceremony.
But it had already hit a snag after it emerged the US President wants to avoid Prince Charles because of their dispute over global warming.
Today’s online petition, backed by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Lib Dem leader Tim Farron, says the US President should no longer be invited to avoid embarrassing the Queen.
The motion states: ‘Donald Trump should be allowed to enter the UK in his capacity as head of the US Government, but he should not be invited to make an official State Visit because it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen.
‘Donald Trump’s well documented misogyny and vulgarity disqualifies him from being received by Her Majesty the Queen or the Prince of Wales.
‘Therefore during the term of his presidency Donald Trump should not be invited to the United Kingdom for an official State Visit.’
Mr Corbyn said he is ‘not happy with him coming here until that ban is lifted,’ while Mr Farron said his visit would be ‘placing the Queen in an impossible position of welcoming a man who is banning British citizens purely on grounds of their faith’.
Within hours of being set up it attracted the necessary 100,000 for the motion to be considered for debate in the Commons.
And it is on course to beat the record one million signatures in support of Jeremy Clarkson returning as Top Gear presenter.
Any petition that receives more than 100,000 signatures within six months must be considered for debate by MPs in Parliament.
Petitions that attracts more than 10,000 in the time period requires a response from the Government.
Today’s petition eclipsed the target within a few hours and by 3pm it had surpassed 280,000 signatures.
It will now be up to the Commons Petition’s Committee to decide whether a parliamentary debate on the matter would be appropriate, but its popularity is likely to lead to a debate in the Commons, which could be highly embarrassing for the US President.
David Cameron introduced the e-petition initiative when he entered Downing Street in 2010 in a bid to boost democracy and transparency.
London’s Muslim Mayor Sadiq Khan also said President Trump should only be invited for a state visit once he lifts his ‘shameful’ travel ban.
Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage was alone in defending the immigration crackdown and even suggested Britain should follow the President’s lead and introduce ‘extreme vetting’ of incomers.
Mr Javid, the Business Secretary, responded directly at Mr Farage, tweeting: ‘Farage is wrong to try and defend US immigration ban. These are not British values.’
Announcing on Friday that the Queen had invited President Trump to make an official state visit to the UK, Mrs May said: ‘In a further sign of the importance of that [special] relationship I have today been able to convey Her Majesty the Queen’s hope that President Trump and the First Lady would pay a state visit to the United Kingdom later this year and I’m delighted that the President has accepted that invitation.’
Meanwhile, thousands of demonstrators are planning to protest against the ban outside Downing Street and across the country on Monday from 6pm.
Protests are listed to take place in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds, Cambridge and Birmingham.
A march organised by a coalition of groups, including Stand Up to Racism and the Muslim Council of Britain, is due to begin at the US embassy next Saturday, ending at Downing Street.
Graham Guest, who started the petition in November, told the Press Association he feared Mr Trump would use the state visit and the accompanying photo opportunities with the Queen to bolster his image.
He said: ‘A state visit legitimises his presidency and he will use the photo opportunities and being seen with the Queen to get re-elected.
‘The wording in the petition is quite precise as I actually say that he should come here as the head of government to do government to government business.
‘At the end of the day he is still the President and we’ve just got to live with that. But there’s no reason why he should get all the pomp and publicity of a state visit.’
Asked why he had launched the petition, Mr Guest, from Leeds, said: ‘Anything to make his life more uncomfortable.
‘I think a debate in Parliament to ban a state visit would be great as people will have had the chance to air their views on him.
‘The petition is really just to make as much noise as possible and put the spotlight on him and what an awful person he is.’
A No 10 spokesman said: ‘An invitation was extended and has been accepted.’