Theresa May is right to welcome Donald Trump and reject the left’s yearning to remain cocooned within its own echo-chamber, argues Rory Broomfield.

Since Theresa May became the first foreign leader to visit Donald Trump in the White House debate has raged over whether it is right for the 45th President of the United States to be hosted on a state visit to the UK. What’s bizarre is the reaction to the democratically elected leader of one of the UK’s closest allies in the world in military, economic and diplomatic affairs being invited when it is plainly in the UK’s interests to do so.

The controversy seems to focus on the recent ban that President Trump introduced on immigrants coming into the US from certain countries. Opposed to this ban seem to be many people in the UK, many of whom aren’t Americans, who have taken it upon themselves to protest Donald Trump’s visit to the UK off the back of it.

What connection many of these people have to the United States remains unclear, but what is clear is their passionate opposition to Trump’s visit. This was illustrated by the treatment of a journalist, Andre Walker, when he sought to cover a recent protest against Trump’s visit in central London.

Andre was spat at, shouted at and followed in an attempt to intimidate him. The clear intention was to suppress his ability to report. In doing so, those protesters have shown an ugly face of the Left: one that remains intolerant to debating views that they disagree with.

This is, of course, not restricted to protests in London against Trump. The increased number of incidents across university campuses where free speech has been restricted is horrific. Even some of the most prestigious and well respected universities in the UK have experienced individuals or groups trying to interfere with talks and debates.

However, the anti-Trump protest phenomenon is one that shows a particularly high level of hypocrisy.

Of course, many of those protesting in London were not around during the visits of dictators such as Nicolae Ceausescu of Romania or President Mobutu of Zaire, but they would have been around for the state visits of President Xi Zinping of China last year or for the visit of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in 2008. Where were the mass protests, petitions and demonstrations then?

These protesters seem to forget that not everyone agrees with them. It’s not to say that everyone would have agreed with President Xi Zinping, however, they were quite happy for him and others to come for state visits, despite the questionable human rights records in their respective countries, whilst protesting Donald Trump.

Ultimately, these protesters need to wake up. The UK’s interests are best served by welcoming and discussing differences with even those that we dislike or disagree with. It’s called diplomacy and being grown up. Those that are protesting Trump’s visit need to understand the basic life skills of being able to hear out those they disagree with.

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