LONDON – British lawmakers will debate a petition calling for U.S. presidential hopeful Donald Trump to be banned from the country over his remarks about Muslims — and a rival petition saying he should be allowed in.
More than half a million people signed an online petition calling for Trump to be blocked after he called last month for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States. Almost 40,000 people backed one saying he should not be barred.
Under British law any petition that gets 100,000 signatures must be considered for parliamentary debate.
The House of Commons Petitions Committee said Tuesday that both petitions would be debated Jan. 18. Chairwoman Helen Jones said the debate "will allow a range of views to be expressed," and did not mean the committee supported a ban.
The debate will not result in a binding vote.
Prime Minister David Cameron has condemned the remarks by the contender for the Republican presidential nomination as "divisive, stupid and wrong." But he and other senior officials have said they do not think Trump should be banned from Britain, where he owns a Scottish golf course.
Any U.K. citizen or resident can start a petition on Parliament's website. To sign, people must provide and confirm an email address.