MPs will debate an invitation for U.S. President Donald Trump to pay a state visit to the UK after more than 3,300 people across Wearside signed a petition opposing the plan.
As of yesterday afternoon, the on-line petition calling for the visit to be downgraded so that the controversial former reality TV star would be denied a meeting with the Queen had attracted almost 1,700,000 signatures nationwide, including 1,172 from South Shields and 1,274 from Jarrow.
I hope the Queen refuses to see the awful man.Kerry Johnson
A rival petition, supporting the state visit plan, had attracted 120,678 signatures, including 227 and 265 from the two constituencies respectively.
Confirmation of the Westminster Hall debate on February 20 comes amid widespread outrage at Mr Trump’s temporary immigration ban on nationals from seven mainly Muslim countries.
Support for calls for the visit to be downgraded rocketed after the president announced his travel ban.
It had only 60 signatories on Saturday but had soared to 500,000 by 6.20pm on Sunday.
The calls divided readers on the Gazette’s Facebook page.
Donna Watson wrote: “Welcome President Trump,” but Kerry Johnson said: “I hope the Queen refuses to see the awful man.”
Dan Gibas, on the other hand, thought people should be paying more attention to other world figures.
“Idiots should be more worried about Duterte, Najib Razak, Mugabe, Kim and Justin Bieber,” he wrote.
Downing Street has rejected claims the Queen has been put in a difficult position due to Donald Trump’s state visit invitation.