Stephen Morris, the English Democrat Mayoral candidate and North East Chairman has said that he will offer a “’Great Big Beautiful’ reception for him in our magnificent Town Hall”.
Mr Morris has said that if elected, he would send an invitation to Donald Trump to make an official visit to Greater Manchester during his controversial State visit in June. He describes himself as “a big fan of Donald Trump”, and has said that many other residents of Greater Manchester are as well, adding that he would use every facility his position might provide him to make the occasion as grand as possible.
The Mancunion spoke to Stephen Morris and asked him why he wished to issue such a direct invitation. He believed that whilst we “may not agree with his policies”, it was “in the interest of Greater Manchester and the devolved authorities to do deals” and talk trade with “the democratically elected leader of the United States.”
The controversy surrounding his state visit sparked protests up and down the country, with Greater Manchester police estimating an attendance of 8000 at Albert Square on Monday night.
In response to these protests, and the possibility of more if President Trump were to accept the invitation, Mr Morris replied: “If he does come, are the protests going to help him change his mind?”
He also expressed disdain for the current popularity of no-platforming public figures, saying that we “shouldn’t not invite them because of their views,” and that conversations about trade and business between Manchester and the US are imperative.
When pushed however, he did say that “I would say to him directly that I have an issue with the [policies] he’s implementing”, adding that he doesn’t “agree with a blanket ban on countries we are trying to help and assist”.
Mr Morris also expressed great respect for President Trump, for “actually doing what he said he would do during the election campaign.”
The Mancunion has contacted the other candidates for comment on this story.