The SDLP leader Colum Eastwood has attacked the President of the United States Donald Trump saying it's impossible to separate "the office of the Presidency with the divisive politics of its occupant".
Mr. Eastwood was speaking as the US President completed his state visit to the United Kingdom before visiting Ireland tomorrow.
He said: “When Donald Trump was elected in 2016 he rode a wave of ignorance, misogyny and racism all the way to the White House. In spite of all indications from his campaign, many hoped that Trump the President would be made moderate by the weight of his office. They must be sorely disappointed.
“I welcome the strong, organised opposition to Trump’s state visit. While he attends state banquets, people from all communities are sending a powerful message that his politics of division, distrust and denial are not welcome on these islands."
The Foyle MLA claimed the British establishment was demeaning itself by feting the leader of the United States in London.
“The embarrassing spectacle of the British Government rushing to bend the knee in deference to Trump’s office, divorced from his toxic politics, demeans their position on the international stage. The clamour by the Tory party leadership cultures to rub shoulders with Trump is an equally uncomfortable sight," he said.
Mr. Trump, who will spend two nights at his Doonbeg hotel and golf course resort in West Clare following his three day visit to the UK, peddled the politics of "hate and division" and should be opposed, claimed Mr. Eastwood.
“The people of Ireland know, better than most, how dangerous the politics of hate and division can be. We have suffered at the hands of those who seek to divide people on the basis of their faith or their nationality.
"It is our duty, given the unshakable bond between our people and the people of the United States, to take a stand against those who seek to perpetuate similar division. That’s why I have boycotted White House events with this President and it’s why I’ll continue to stand in solidarity with those who oppose his politics,” he said.