An anti-Trump demonstration has been held in Lynn, after the town’s MP backed the US president’s proposed state visit to Britain.
Dozens of people took part in the cross-party protest, held outside the town hall on Wednesday night, as the furore surrounding the US president’s immigration policies continues.
Rev Laura Baker, curate of King’s Lynn Minster, denounced his policy of preventing people from seven largely Muslim countries entering America as “illegal and immoral.”
She added: “We must not let this happen again. We must not let this become normalised.”
North West Norfolk Labour party secretary Jo Rust, who organised the event, said she had faced criticism on social media after the protest was announced from people who claimed the issue was “none of our business.”
But she insisted: “We will resist these policies of hate that have a direct impact on how we live our lives.”
More than 1.8 million people have now signed an online petition demanding that the invitation for Mr Trump to make a state visit be withdrawn. A rival petition supporting the visit has so far attracted around 250,000 signatures.
The objectors include nearly 3,000 in the constituencies of West Norfolk’s two MPs - Sir Henry Bellingham and Elizabeth Truss.
But, earlier this week, Sir Henry declared his support for the visit, claiming it would a “gross insult to America” to withdraw the invitation.
And, while he conceded there were issues around the precise details of a visit, he still insisted yesterday it had been right to invite the president and claimed Britain would look “ridiculous” if the government now changed its mind.
He said: “I don’t approve of a lot of what President Trump is saying, but it’s very much in our national interests to have a relationship with the democratically elected leader of our most important ally.
“We need to build that relationship so we can be candid friends and that’s what we will be. When he’s wrong, we will say so privately, but we won’t grandstand in public.”
He also questioned whether demonstrators would protest against unelected regimes in other parts of the world.
However, Mrs Rust accused Sir Henry of following the example of his leader, whom she dubbed “Theresa the Appeaser”, in seeking to “cosy up” to the president.
The Rev Simon Wilson, chairman of the West Norfolk Liberal Democrats, who also addressed the march, added: “Our local MPs should be standing up for the values of tolerance and inclusiveness shared by many in our community and against divisive attacks on the rights of refugees, women and others already targeted by Mr Trump in the first weeks of his presidency.”