‘Donald Trump would not be welcome in Portsmouth’ says city council leader 

US President Donald Trump was discussed during a city council meeting this week. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
US President Donald Trump was discussed during a city council meeting this week. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

DONALD Trump will not be welcome in Portsmouth, the city’s council leader has reaffirmed.

Ahead of the American president's visit to the UK councillors debated the controversial figure at Tuesday's full council meeting.

In her debut meeting Charles Dickens representative Cllr Claire Udy raised the question of Mr Trump.

She said: 'As reported in the media this weekend, American President Donald Trump is due to visit an unnamed defence site this Friday in the UK.

'Given that Portsmouth could be one of those sites, could the leader clarify, that in the event of President Trump visiting, that he is unwelcome to the city of Portsmouth?'

But council leader Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson was sceptical the president would visit the city. He said: 'I have done some digging to see if there have been any official reports that he is coming to Portsmouth. So far no-one has heard anything.'

He stood by previously reported sentiments and added: 'My view is that we should be courteous to people unless they pose a positive threat to us. But it is clear he is reluctant to support human rights and that for me is the reason he won't be welcome here.

'I am sure there are some people who would welcome him with open arms and that is really worrying. It is really important that we are not bullied into silence.'

Tory Cllr Ian Lyons questioned Cllr Vernon-Jackson further. He said: 'The Queen is meeting Donald Trump when he comes to the UK. Is the council leader saying he is above even the Queen? And is it not good that he is trying to get us to spend more money on defence in this country?'

Cllr Vernon-Jackson responded. 'I think we should all feel sorry for the Queen that she will have to grin and bear it when she meets this man,' he said.

'We should all be very grateful that it is not us. It is appalling that the government has put her in that position. Thank heavens he is not coming here.'

Other councillors voiced concerns about snubbing the most powerful man in the world. Cllr Simon Bosher said: 'As a city council we need to be mindful of the economic benefits he could bring to the city. We are linked to the American navy. Would we want to see them choose a different city?'

Cllr Steve Wemyss added: 'To make Donald Trump unwelcome is to drive him away.'

President Donald Trump arrived in the UK today and is due to depart on Sunday.