Petition by Leeds CPS solicitor reaps rewards as Trump’s state visit postponed

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By Thomas Connelly on

Graham Guest’s online appeal chalked up almost two million signatures

A petition launched by a Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) solicitor calling on the government to cancel President Donald Trump’s state visit to the United Kingdom appears to have had at least some success.

Reports overnight claim that Trump’s visit to British shores, which was originally pencilled in the diary for June, will now be delayed until October.

According to The Sun, both Theresa May and Trump — who discussed the visit in a phonecall two weeks ago — are hoping that the controversy surrounding his policies will have quelled by the autumn.

Leeds-based CPS solicitor Graham Guest hit headlines last month after he launched an online appeal calling on the government to stop Trump entering the UK “in his capacity as head of the US government”. Citing the newly-installed president’s “well documented misogyny and vulgarity”, Guest claimed that Trump’s trip “would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen.”

And the solicitor received strong public backing. Racking up over 1.8 million signatures, the petition triggered a string of protests across the country calling for the presidential visit to be blocked.

Responding to the public outcry, the visit — which will now apparently take place between 5 and 8 October — was debated in the House of Commons in February. Despite objections from all corners of the House, May refused to retract the invitation. A statement, released by the government and now accompanying Guest’s online petition, states:

HM Government recognises the strong views expressed by the many signatories of this petition, but does not support this petition… This invitation reflects the importance of the relationship between the United States of America and the United Kingdom.

While the postponement shows Guest’s efforts were not in vain, the solicitor’s campaign may have landed him in hot water with his employers. Legal Cheek reported last month that Guest may have broken the CPS’s code of conduct, which states that prosecutors “must be fair, independent and objective” and must not let “political views” influence their decisions. Speaking at the time, a spokesperson for the CPS said:

This issue will be considered in accordance with our human resources procedures and the CPS code of conduct.

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