Labour and SNP MPs who have “cosied up some of the bloodiest dictators” are hypocritical in objecting to a state visit by Donald Trump, Sammy Wilson has said.
The East Antrim MP was commenting ahead of a Commons debate on Monday night on the US president’s travel ban on refugees and citizens from several mainly Muslim countries.
The emergency debate followed an application from Labour’s Ed Miliband, which was backed by Commons Speaker John Bercow, after a number of Conservative members joined opposition MPs in supporting the move.
Speaking from Westminster, Mr Wilson said: “Whatever policy Americans decide to implement is their own business, and just as we in the UK resented the interference of the EU on our immigration policy and voted to free ourselves from that interference so the Americans have every right to exercise freedom in their policy choices.
“It is hypocritical of those on the Labour benches and the SNP to call for President Trump to be refused a state visit because of his policy on immigration when they have cosied up to some of the bloodiest dictators and most oppressive regimes across the world.”
Mr Wilson added: “President Trump is the head of the biggest democracy and our most powerful ally; of course he must be welcomed to the UK later this year.”
Mr Miliband, the former Labour leader, said fears over the threat posed by the Islamic State terror group are valid, but said the travel restrictions are “clearly a Muslim ban” which would “make the world a more dangerous place”.