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British House Speaker says he won't invite Trump to address Parliament over 'racism' and 'sexism

LONDON - JUNE 23: The new Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow sits in his office at the House of Commons on June 23, 2009 in London, England. The Speaker revealed that he will not claim the parliamentary second home allowance while in the post. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Despite an invitation from British Prime Minister Theresa May for an official state visit to England, President Donald Trump may find himself excluded from addressing Parliment when he finally makes his way across the pond.

That's because UK House of Commons Speaker John Bercow said Monday that he would block Trump from addressing Parliament — which many of Trump's predecessors have had the honor of doing — during his official state visit later this year.

Bercow told Members of Parliament Monday that he is "strongly opposed" to letting Trump address MPs in Westminster Hall, citing Trump's recent executive order on immigration and refugees, in addition to Parliament's opposition to "racism and sexism," according to the Guardian.

"Before the imposition of the migrant ban, I would myself have been strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall. After the imposition of the migrant ban I am even more strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall," Bercow told Parliament. "I would not wish to issue an invitation to President Trump."

"I feel very strongly that our opposition to racism and to sexism and our support for equality before the law and an independent judiciary are hugely important considerations in the House of Commons," he added.

And while Bercow said he doesn't have the authority to block Trump from visiting England, Bercow said he thinks May should rethink her invitation.

Addressing Parliament is not an "automatic right, it's an earned honor," Bercow went on to tell MPs while stressing that England values its relationship with the U.S.

According to British newspaper the Independent, "parts of the Commons erupted into rare spontaneous applause in support of Mr Bercow’s statement."

Unlike in U.S. Congress, the Speaker of Britain's lower house — the House of Commons — is a non-partisan position tasked with maintaining parliamentary order. Similarly, however, he is elected by his MPs. But if Trump wants to address Parliament, Bercow explained that he would need to OK the address, along with two other key members of England's government.

"In relation to Westminster Hall, there are three key-holders ... the speaker of the House of Commons, the Speaker of the House of Lords and the lord great chamberlain, and ordinarily we are able to work by consensus and the hall would be used for a purpose such as an address, by agreement of the three key-holders," Bercow explained.

And if the leaders aren't able to come to a consensus, Trump will be out of luck. For addresses to Westminster Hall, both house speakers and the Lord Great Chamberlin have to give their approval.

May is facing pressure from top English politicians to rescind her invitation to Trump after she visited the White House last month, shortly before Trump signed his order on immigration. Most notably, the Labour Party's Jeremy Corbyn has called on Trump to be banned from England until he rescinds his temporary ban on refugees and travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Watch Bercow's comments below:

One last thing…
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