10 Dec 2015

Petition to keep Trump out of UK draws 300k names

10:45 am on 10 December 2015

A petition calling for US presidential candidate Donald Trump to be barred from entering the UK has gathered more than 300,000 names, forcing British MPs to consider debating the issue.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump Photo: AFP

Mr Trump's plan to ban Muslims from entering the United States, in the wake of a deadly terror attack in California, has drawn global condemnation.

The UK petition went on Parliament's e-petition website on Tuesday. Any petition with more than 100,000 signatures is automatically considered for debate in Parliament.

Mr Trump - who is seeking the Republican nomination for next year's US presidential election - was dismissive of the petition.

"They don't know what they're getting into," Mr Trump wrote on Twitter.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron said he regards comments made by Mr Trump as "divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong".

Chancellor George Osborne also criticised Mr Trump's comments but rejected calls for him to be banned from the UK.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has also stripped Mr Trump of his status as a business ambassador for Scotland, while Aberdeen's Robert Gordon University has revoked Mr Trump's honorary degree, which he received in 2010 in recognition of his achievements as an entrepreneur and businessman.

Mr Trump earlier claimed that parts of London were "so radicalised the police are afraid for their lives".

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson responded by saying the "ill-informed comments are complete and utter nonsense".

The latest world leader to reject his remarks was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said Israel "respects all religions", hours after Mr Trump announced he will be visiting the country this month.

'My whole life is about winning'

Mr Trump's comments have also been heavily criticised by other senior Republican politicians, but he has said he will never leave the 2016 race, despite increasing calls for him to step aside.

Mr Trump told the Washington Post he would not step aside, no matter what.

Mr Trump is the current frontrunner among the Republicans running for president, six weeks before the primary contests begin for each party to pick their nominee.

He also alluded to running as an independent in a tweet linking to a USA Today poll which found 68 percent of his supporters would vote for him if he left the Republican party.

Concerned that Mr Trump could run as an independent, Republican leaders persuaded the New York businessman to pledge to support the eventual nominee.

However, Mr Trump has threatened to leave the Republican party before if he was not "treated fairly".

"My whole life is about winning. I don't lose often. I almost never lose," he told the Post.

Party officials fear a third-party Trump campaign would spilt the Republican vote, and give Democrats a winning advantage.

Although Mr Trump has consistently led in national polls for several months, a majority of voters view him unfavourably.

Many political analysts believe the large number of Republican candidates is one of the reasons Mr Trump had led the polls and that Mr Trump would perform differently once the race consolidated.

Mr Trump's comments about Muslims came after the deadly shootings in San Bernardino, California.

He called for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on", not backing down even after receiving wide criticism.

A Muslim couple, believed to have been radicalised, killed 14 people at a health centre and left scores injured.

Former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush called Mr Trump "unhinged". Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said his comments were contrary to American values.

- BBC

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