A decision to ban US President Donald Trump from the UK would “backfire big time” according to Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans who has said he will welcome the controversial new leader.
He spoke out as protestors across the country staged demonstrations and launched petitions calling for the planned state visit to be shelved.
The issue is expected to be debated in Parliament after senior Conservatives backed the call by more than 1.5m people.
Mr Evans, who attended President Trump’s inauguration, said: “I will welcome President Trump to the United Kingdom when he visits.
“I want to tell him of our close working relationship with BAC and the US over the Joint Strike Fighter project – and that the US is one of our most treasured trading partners.
“A policy of banning the President of one of our closest trading partners and a country with which we have shared history over the centuries, would backfire big time, hurt the UK economically and deny us any influence in the future.
“This policy of bans, if spread, would soon find the UK isolated and without friends. This is not in the best interests of Britain or the world.”
“He is a man who was elected as he spoke the language of Middle America which he felt had been ignored and dispossessed.
“He entertained Theresa May for talks as the first world leader to the White House following the inauguration.
“He is pro-British, pro-Brexit, and he wants to see a quick trade deal with the UK.”
Nigel Evans first met Donald Trump in Florida in 2012 at the Mar-a-Lago Club.
Mr Evans and his guests had dinner with Trump and his wife Melania where they discussed UK-US relations, the state of politics, and general world affairs. Mr Evans extended an invitation to Mr Trump to visit the Ribble Valley with a view to trade talks, particularly concerning BAE Systems.
The Conservative MP travelled to Washington for Mr Trump’s inauguration and said recently: “Regardless of what opinions we as individuals have about the President-elect, it must be accepted by all that Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States.”