East Anglian Conservative MEP defends Donald Trump’s travel restrictions
- Credit: PA
One of the region's MEPs appeared to defend Donald Trump's travel ban for people from seven mainly-Muslim countries as Conservative MPs lined up to condemn the move.
David Campbell Bannerman, a Conservative Euro MP, took to Twitter to say it was reassuring to see that fast action could be taken.
His social media defence of Mr Trump was at odds with a number of senior Conservatives who have followed the Prime Minister in criticising the action.
Foreign secretary Boris Johnson said today that the travel ban on Muslims and refugees was 'divisive and wrong'.
He criticised the decision to 'stigmatise' people based on their nationality and said the government will 'protect' Britons travelling abroad.
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Downing Street was forced to issue a midnight statement as it attempted to calm the growing backlash after Theresa May repeatedly refused to criticise President Trump's controversial move.
It said the Prime Minister did 'not agree' with the ban and would act to help UK citizens.
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Mr Johnson added his voice to the growing backlash against the US president saying: 'We will protect the rights and freedoms of UK nationals home and abroad. Divisive and wrong to stigmatise because of nationality.'
Cambridgeshire Conservative MP Heidi Allen rounded on Mrs May for the way she had handled the situation.
She said on Twitter: 'Strong leadership means not being afraid to tell someone powerful when they're wrong. It's an ethos this country is proud of @theresa_may.
'I don't care how special the relationship is, some lines just shouldn't be crossed.'
Essex Conservative MP James Cleverly said on Twitter: 'President Trump's immigration and Syrian refugee ban is indefensible, unworkable and almost certainly unconstitutional.'
But Mr Campbell-Bannerman said Mr Trump had been elected to make the USA safer and wealthier and it was reassuring to see fast action could be taken.
Citizens from seven mainly Muslim countries - Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen - have been barred temporarily along with all refugees.
Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesperson Tom Brake MP said: 'How could he explain to constituents, some of whom might be caught up in the ban, despite holding British passports and American visas, that they are not after all entitled to travel to the United States?'
But Mr Campbell-Bannerman insisted early on that 'Brits aren't banned'. Tweeting: 'Exceptions will be made. It is temporary. About time we toughened up on threat facing us.'
He insisted Donald Trump's travel ban was not a 'Muslim ban' and was in fact 'seven nations at war'. He also pointed out that two dual nationals not were affected, claiming the reaction to the ban had been exaggerated.
He said he had direct knowledge of security issues from being on the front line against ISIS with Peshmerga in Iraq, and from Gulf states as well as Israel security forces. The most successful British track athlete in modern British history, the double double Olympic champion Sir Mo Farah was believed to be affected by the ban on Sunday monring, but it was later clarified by Number 10 that he was not
The Foreign Office said Britons with dual citizenship would be exempt from the controversial travel ban, but UK residents have been caught up in the chaos.
Prime Minister Theresa May is facing intense pressure to axe the state visit planned for Mr Trump following widespread outrage over his travel ban on Muslims and refugees.
Ministers face being hauled into the Commons amid continued concerns about the impact on Britons, as well as the way the Government has responded.