The British government has said the controversial visit of US president Donald Trump will go ahead, rejecting a petition signed by almost 2 million people protesting against the visit.
In response to the parliamentary petition, which had 1.8 million signatures before closing, the Foreign Office stated in a written answer that the US president "should be extended the full courtesy of a State Visit. We look forward to welcoming President Trump once dates and arrangements are finalised."
It said that although the government recognised "the strong views expressed by the many signatories of this petition", it "does not support this petition".
It concluded: "During her visit to the United States on 27 January 2017, the Prime Minister, on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, invited President Trump for a State Visit to the UK later this year. The invitation was accepted.
"This invitation reflects the importance of the relationship between the United States of America and the United Kingdom. At this stage, final dates have not yet been agreed for the State Visit."
The controversial invitation was announced by Theresa May, officially at the request of Buckingham Palace but directed by ministers, last month.
In the wake of the immigration ban, the invitation provoked an almost immediate backlash.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “I’m not happy with him coming here until that ban is lifted.” Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Conservatives, also condemned the invitation: “A state visit from the current president of the United States could not possibly occur in the best traditions of the enterprise while a cruel and divisive policy which discriminates against citizens of the host nation is in place."
Rose Troup Buchanan is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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