Westminster Labour has written to the Leader of the Council and its Chief Executive to call on them to seek to block the proposed state visit by President Trump by withholding council cooperation in planning and managing the event unless the US President reverses a visa ban that could prevent over 10,000 Westminster residents from entering the United States. Any state visit is likely to comprise visits to 10 Downing Street, Buckingham Palace and other Westminster landmarks and would normally be supported by the Council’s ‘special events’ and transport teams. Withholding such support would make the visit difficult to proceed.
Labour Leader Councillor Adam Hug wrote the following request to the council leadership:
Dear Nickie, Charlie and Stuart
I’m writing to strongly request that Westminster Council withholds its ‘special events’ and transport cooperation in relation to the planning for the proposed upcoming state visit by President Trump whilst the US Administration continues to pursue a discriminatory visa ban that, as well as being immoral, has a direct and negative effect on Westminster residents.
The Trump Administration’s visa ban directly impacts citizens of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. People from around the world have made Westminster their home. This includes many who originally hail from these seven countries. Figures from the 2011 Census show that 2,920 Westminster residents were born in Iran and 946 were born in Somalia. Exact numbers for the other five countries of birth is not available at Westminster level; however taking London-wide figures on a proportionate basis would give 4,350 residents from Iraq, 750 from Sudan, 650 from Yemen, 572 from Syria and 252 from Libya. While proportions from individual countries are likely to differ, overall this is likely to be an underestimate given Westminster’s high proportion of residents who were born overseas. Therefore that over 10,000 Westminster residents could be harmed by this visa ban.
This is not just a state visit by a head of state or government with whose views we disagree; it is someone who is making a direct attack on the freedoms of a significant number of Westminster residents. Therefore Westminster Council must not use its resources or taxpayers’ money to facilitate a state visit by President Trump whilst this ban remains in place. I would also like to take this opportunity to receive clarification around the council’s policies for approving requests for cooperation from other tiers of government in relation to state visits. However I look forward to hearing from you on the matter relating to the Trump state visit as a matter of some urgency.
Best regards and many thanks