For weeks, British lawyer Graham Guest’s petition to prevent US President Donald Trump from shaking Her Majesty’s hand pretty much lay dormant. But now more than a million people have signed it, and that number is rising fast.
The petition on the UK Government and Parliament website had earned just 372 signatures since the end of November, Guest said, but by 10am on Monday, January 30, 2017 that number soared.
Then, news spread of President Trump’s executive order restricting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries and halting refugee resettlement.
According to the rules, any petition with 100,000 signatures or more automatically qualifies it for consideration to be debated in Parliament, though there are no guarantees.
The Leeds resident has no explanation for how it took off.
“Maybe Trump’s travel ban has angered people and they want him to know what it’s like to be banned from a country,” he wrote to CNN.
British diplomats condemned the order. Under intense pressure to take a position, Prime Minister Theresa May conceded Sunday “we do not agree with this kind of approach” while saying it was a matter for the US to decide on its own.
Guest said he had no specific issue or policy position in mind when he started the petition. It was just Trump the man, really.
The petition says a state visit from the new US president 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,” the petition states.
The UK Government and Parliament lets British citizens and UK residents create actions for possible review.
Will Guest attend the hearing if it pans out? “Absolutely!”