County news: Donald Trump invited to Sussex town

File photo dated 15/5/2014 of American tycoon Donald Trump onboard his private jet. More than 360,000 people have backed a call for Donald Trump to be banned from the UK after he suggested Muslims should be barred from America. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday December 10, 2015. Thousands rushed to sign a petition on the Parliament website as British politicians lined up to condemn the remarks. The property tycoon and reality TV star, who is seeking the Republican nomination for next year's presidential election, provoked widespread anger and ridicule after demanding a block on Muslims entering the US and claiming parts of London were "so radicalised" that police were "afraid for their own lives". See PA story POLITICS Trump. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire POLITICS_Trump_084400.JPG
File photo dated 15/5/2014 of American tycoon Donald Trump onboard his private jet. More than 360,000 people have backed a call for Donald Trump to be banned from the UK after he suggested Muslims should be barred from America. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday December 10, 2015. Thousands rushed to sign a petition on the Parliament website as British politicians lined up to condemn the remarks. The property tycoon and reality TV star, who is seeking the Republican nomination for next year's presidential election, provoked widespread anger and ridicule after demanding a block on Muslims entering the US and claiming parts of London were "so radicalised" that police were "afraid for their own lives". See PA story POLITICS Trump. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire POLITICS_Trump_084400.JPG

LAST MONTH it was Andy Murray – but today outspoken US presidential candidate Donald Trump has become the latest celebrity to be invited to a Sussex town.

The billionaire courted controversy last year after calling for ‘a total and complete shutdown’ of Muslims entering the US.

The remarks led to a petition of more than 560,000 signatures for him to be banned from entering the UK.

But despite this, MP Sir Peter Bottomley invited him to Worthing, during an interview on BBC Radio Sussex this morning.

Sir Peter said: “My immediate reaction was ‘if this man doesn’t want people I know and respect going to the United States, I’m not sure I want to have him coming here’, because I don’t like him and I don’t respect him.

“Now I think it’s probably better that he does come, but the condition should be that he’ll come to Worthing, meet with the people at the Islamic Centre, talk to the Imam, listen to the chairman, listen to the ordinary members, and maybe he’ll change his thoughts.”

The petition, which calls for Trump to be banned on the grounds of ‘hate speech’, is the largest e-petition in the country’s history.

Sir Peter was joined by professor Clive Webb, head of modern American history at the University of Sussex, to discuss the issue.

Tennis ace Andy Murray was invited to Worthing after namechecking the town in his BBC Sports Personality of the Year acceptance speech.

He said: “A friend sent me a message the other day with an article saying ‘Andy Murray is duller than a weekend in Worthing’, which I thought was harsh - on Worthing!”

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