Britain's parliament on Monday debated a petition to ban US Republican party presidential hopeful Donald Trump from Britain for "hate speech," a reaction to Trump's call for a ban on Muslims entering the United States.
The debate came after some 575,000 people signed a petition on the parliament's website, with 43,000 supporting an alternative petition not to ban Trump.
The government is required to respond to any petition attracting more than 100,000 supporters and consider it for a parliamentary debate. However, no vote was planned on Monday.
"By scheduling a debate on these petitions, the committee is not expressing a view on whether or not the government should exclude Donald Trump from the UK," Helen Jones, the chairwoman of parliament's petitions committee.
"As with any decision to schedule a petition for debate, it simply means that the committee has decided that the subject should be debated," Jones said. "A debate will allow a range of views to be expressed."
Prime Minister David Cameron said he did not support a ban on Trump, but he said the US presidential candidate's statement was "divisive, unhelpful and, quite simply, wrong."
Trump also angered British politicians and police by telling a US broadcaster that parts of London were "so radicalized the police are afraid for their own lives," a claim rejected as "simply ridiculous" by London Mayor Boris Johnson.