After just one day, a petition calling on British Parliamentarians to ban Donald Trump from entering the United Kingdom has nearly 300,000 signatories. That’s almost triple the number needed for Parliament to consider the matter for debate. The petition drew so many visitors that the government website which hosts it crashed for about 20 minutes on Wednesday.
“The U.K. has banned entry to many individuals for hate speech,” the petition reads. “The same principles should apply to everyone who wishes to enter the U.K. If the United Kingdom is to continue applying the ‘unacceptable behavior’ criteria to those who wish to enter its borders, it must be fairly applied to the rich as well as poor, and the weak as well as powerful.”
The petition was filed by a Suzanne Kelly, Scottish critic of the Republican businessman, after he made highly controversial remarks about Muslims. The Republican Party frontrunner called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” following a mass shooting committed by a Muslim couple in San Bernardino, Calif. last week.
His statements have received widespread condemnation from political and religious leaders around the world.
Trump was lambasted further after he repeated debunked claims about radicalization in London.
“We have places in London and other places that are so radicalized that the police are afraid for their own lives. We have to be very smart and very vigilant,” he told MSNBC on Tuesday.
“We would not normally dignify such comments with a response, however, on this occasion we think it’s important to state to Londoners that Mr. Trump could not be more wrong,” the London Metropolitan Police said in a statement.
London Mayor Boris Johnson decried Trump’s comments as “ridiculous.”
“As a city where more than 300 languages are spoken, London has a proud history of tolerance and diversity,” he said. “The only reason I wouldn’t go to some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump.”
Parliamentarians will debate the matter and decide whether the country’s Home Office will block Trump from entering the U.K. as it has several other incendiary Americans. The list includes the head of the Nation of Islam Louis Farrakhan, and the “Burn a Quran Day” evangelist Terry Jones. Various white supremacists and people associated with the Westboro Baptist Church are also on the list.
The petition invokes the “unacceptable behavior” guidelines created by the British Home Office which can lead to deportation or denied entry to any foreign national from the U.K.
The list of unacceptable behaviors include the following:
- foment, justify or glorify terrorist violence in furtherance of particular beliefs
- seek to provoke others to terrorist acts
- foment other serious criminal activity or seek to provoke others to serious criminal acts
- foster hatred that might lead to inter-community violence in the UK
Trump has faced further rebuke in the U.K. On Wednesday, the Scottish government pulled him as a business ambassador and Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen announced that it would revoke the presidential hopeful’s honorary doctorate in business administration.