MPs will debate an invitation for US President Donald Trump to pay a state visit to the UK after more than 3,300 people across Wearside signed a petition opposing the plan.
As of yesterday afternoon, the online petition calling for the visit to be downgraded so that the controversial former reality TV star would be denied a meeting with the Queen, had attracted almost 1,700,000 signatures nationwide, including 1,512 from Sunderland Central, 952 from Washington and Sunderland West and 867 from Houghton and Sunderland South.
A rival petition, supporting the state visit plan, had attracted 120,678 signatures, including 277, 249 and 204 from the three constituencies respectively.
Confirmation of the Westminster Hall debate on February 20 comes amid widespread outrage at Mr Trump’s temporary immigration ban on nationals from seven mainly Muslim countries.
Support for calls for the visit to be downgraded rocketed after the president announced his travel ban.
It had only 60 signatories on Saturday, but had soared to 500,000 by 6.20pm on Sunday.
You are trying to BAN him from our country. Haven’t you signed because he has banned people from the USA?Eddie Goodwin
The calls divided readers on the Echo’s Facebook page.
Eddie Goodwin wrote: “Less than 2% have signed, that is because the other 98% can think without been told by the media what they should think. You are trying to ban him from our country.
“Haven’t you signed because he has banned people from the USA?”
But Robin Taylor responded: “People who signed the petition were protesting at Trump being afforded a State Reception, not being allowed into the country.”