Donald Trump was branded a “fascist” by Labour firebrand Dennis Skinner as MPs heard the cost of policing the US President’s visit would “run into the millions”.
The Beast of Bolsover said Trump’s visit would cause “mayhem” as other backbenchers raised concerns about the number of officers being seconded from their constituencies.
The controversial visit has prompted one of the UK’s biggest ever police operations, with thousands of officers on duty.
During Trump’s brief “working visit” he will have tea with the Queen and Prime Minister Theresa May and see Blenheim Palace, Chequers, Windsor Castle, the US ambassador’s official residence in Regent’s Park, London, and Scotland.
Skinner said: “What on earth is the government playing at inviting this fascist Trump to come to Britain and cause all this mayhem that we’ve already heard from these benches, police from every part of the British isles.
“The Prime Minister, does she want to hold his hand again? Is that what it’s all about? You’re making a rod for your own back.”
Policing minister Nick Hurd, who arrived late to the debate with cries of “shocking” and “how discourteous” from opposition MPs, told Skinner he was “entitled to his own robust views”.
He added: “The fact of the matter is President Trump is the democratically elected leader of the United States of America, which is historically and is currently our most important ally and it’s a hugely important relationship.”
Hurd earlier apologised to Speaker John Bercow for arriving late.
Later in the debate, Labour MP Paula Sherriff told MPs that 300 officers had been sent by West Yorkshire Police to help cover the event “even though there was a planned EDL (English Defence League) demo” in the region.
She said: “Can he therefore absolutely guarantee the safety of local people during that demo when so many of our officers will be deployed elsewhere?”
Hurd said “almost every police force is contributing officers”.
He added: “These are local operating decisions that the local chief and the local PCC need to take in coordination with the national coordination centre to make sure they don’t take unnecessary risk in their home base.”
Following the minister’s response, Labour MP Diana Johnson said her constituents would be “furious to know that inspectors, sergeants and police constables are going down to keep President Trump safe”.