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Downing Street Said There Are No Plans To Cancel Trump's State Visit Despite Growing Pressure

Politicians across the political spectrum expressed their disgust at the US president's response to the protests in Charlottesville and called on Theresa May to take a stand.

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A Downing Street spokesperson has said there has been no change in the UK's position regarding Donald Trump's state visit despite calls to cancel it.

The spokesperson told BuzzFeed News: "An invitation has been extended to Trump and it has been accepted."It was reported in July that there would be a state visit next year.
Leon Neal / Getty Images

The spokesperson told BuzzFeed News: "An invitation has been extended to Trump and it has been accepted."

It was reported in July that there would be a state visit next year.

Calls to cancel the visit grew after Donald Trump defended the white nationalists who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

During a press conference, the US president repeated his earlier comments that there were "many sides" to the violent protests, which involved neo-Nazis and other white supremacists.

"You also had some very fine people on both sides," Trump said. "You had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists. The press has treated them absolutely unfairly. Now, in the other group also, you had some fine people but you also had troublemakers."

After hearing the comments, Jeremy Corbyn told reporters on Tuesday night that Trump's state visit should not go ahead.

"There should not be a state visit any time soon," the Labour leader said. "When racism raises its head, in any form, any place, anywhere, it's up to all of us to condemn it and call it out for what it is."

In response to questions from reporters on Wednesday morning, Theresa May said she could "see no equivalence between those who propound fascist views and those who oppose them".

Although the prime minister's carefully worded response did not mention Trump by name, she added: "I think it's important for all those in positions of responsibility to condemn far-right views wherever we hear them."

More from Theresa May when asked about the Trump comments

Her comments came after several politicians, including coleader of the Green party Jonathan Bartley, urged her to speak out and not be complicit by staying silent.

PM's silence on Trump not only embarrassing but dangerous. Silence is complicity. Come on @theresa_may - show us you're better than this

Labour MP Chuka Umunna criticised the PM's response and called on her to cancel Trump's state visit.

This isn't good enough. He used his position to defend attendees of a Neo-Nazi rally. At the very least May should… https://t.co/Xs8sYo7aWl

One of May's own cabinet members, communities secretary Sajid Javid, was among the first MPs to condemn Trump's comments. "Neo-Nazis: bad. Anti-Nazis: good. I learned that as a child," he wrote.

Neo-Nazis: bad Anti-Nazis: good I learned that as a child. It was pretty obvious.

Other UK politicians quickly followed Javid's lead. Sam Gyimah, the Conservative MP for East Surrey, said Trump had lost "moral authority" for not calling "fascism by its name".

The ‘leader of the free world’ loses moral authority when he cannot call fascism by its name.

Losing moral authority? Never had it. Appalling individual; his success continues to be a tragedy for the US. https://t.co/ligG6RQ7W4

Leader of the Scottish Conservatives Ruth Davidson also condemned Trump for defending "Nazis, fascists and racists".

The President of the United States has just turned his face to the world to defend Nazis, fascists and racists. For shame.

And SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon pointed out there was no such thing as "fine" Nazis.

When the likes of David Duke praise you, you are on the wrong side. There are no 'fine' Nazis. We must all stand fi… https://t.co/xtuWj25T3E

Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable also called for Trump's state visit to be cancelled and urged May to follow the lead of German chancellor Angela Merkel, who called the events in Charlottesville "absolutely repulsive".

.@vincecable - The fact Trump remains dependent on advisors from the extreme-right shows he is firmly anchored in t… https://t.co/giRINJ3oDF

Labour MP Nia Griffith said a state visit would be a "betrayal".

A state visit by #DonaldTrump would shame this country and betray all we stand for. Theresa May should revoke the invitation immediately.

And Labour MP Lillian Greenwood said Trump should have never been invited in the first place.

A new low. Sickening. When will UK Govt admit he should never had been invited for a state visit? https://t.co/2F2RneJYtU

Chris Bryant, the Labour MP for Rhonnda, used Trump's "both sides" line to attack him with this rhyme, saying the US president could not be trusted.

I've looked at Trump from both sides now From up and down, and still somehow It's Nazi hatred I recall I really don't trust Trump at all

Ikran is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Ikran Dahir at ikran.dahir@buzzfeed.com.

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