MPs are debating calls to ban US presidential hopeful Donald Trump from the UK after his controversial remarks about Muslims.
More than 570,000 people have signed an online petition calling for him to be refused entry, noting action against “hate speech” must take place regardless of a person’s wealth or power.
The outspoken Republican billionaire sparked anger after he demanded a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the US.
And he has made controversial remarks about Mexicans, saying many of the migrants who crossed into America were rapists and criminals.
The debate was selected by the Petitions Committee, a group of 11 backbench MPs who decide whether e-petitions that reach over 100,000 signatures should be put forward for discussion.
A rival petition saying it would be illogical to ban Mr Trump from the UK has reached over 40,000 signatures.
Mr Trump is still leading several opinion polls in the race to be the Republican candidate for November’s US presidential election.
Labour MP Tulip Siddiq argued Mr Trump should be banned from the UK, saying his words were “poisonous” and “risk inflaming tension between vulnerable communities”.
She added: “We have legislation in our country to make sure we do not let people enter who are not conducive to the public good”.
But fellow Labour MP Paul Flynn, who led the debate, cautioned that banning him could hand his supporters an advantage.
He said: “The great danger by attacking this one man is that we can fix on him a halo of victimhood, we give him the role of martyrdom which is conceived to be an advantage among those who support him.
“A line will go out: ‘Here’s the foreigners interfering, telling us what to do’ and I think that would be a grave error if we gave them that situation and allowed our deliberations to seem to be anti-American.”
Conservative MP Sir Edward Leigh was not in favour of a ban, saying: “In a free country you have the right to offend people. I offend people in this House all the time.
“Also the United States is a friendly country. Twice in two world wars it has come to our rescue and this man may conceivably become president of our most important ally.”
Prime Minister David Cameron has also previously spoken against a ban while Cabinet minister Chris Grayling warned giving Mr Trump the “oxygen of publicity” helps rather than hinders him.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is also not in favour of a ban, adding he wanted to take Mr Trump to a north London mosque.
Mr Corbyn said: “I decided to invite Donald Trump on his visit to Britain to come with me to my constituency because he has problems with Mexicans and he has problems with Muslims.
“My wife is Mexican and my constituency is very multicultural. What I was going to do was go down to the mosque with him and let him talk to people there.”
He added that he didn’t think the US Presidential hopeful should be banned from the UK, despite his “weird and off-the-wall views”.
In contrast, former SNP leader Alex Salmond said: “My view is that, yes, I would probably ban ‘The Donald’ because it would do him some good.
“He wants to ban all Muslims from the United States, I want to ban all Donald Trumps from Scotland.”
Campaigners staged protests at two golf resorts owned by Mr Trump in Scotland on Sunday ahead of the Commons debate.