“IT’S in Britain’s national interests to have a good relationship with the US” - Prime Minister Theresa May’s Chief Whip today told News as the Government confirmed petitions for and against President Donald Trump visiting the UK would be debated in Parliament.

South Staffordshire MP Mr Williamson, whose patch includes Kinver and Stourton, spoke to the News as the furore continued over whether the new US president was right to introduce a temporary ban on people from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen entering America.

Prime Minister Theresa May has reportedly stated Britain does not agree with the approach being taken but it is a “matter for the government of the United States” and Mr Williamson said: “It’s not something I would have personally been in favour of. However – it’s in Britain’s national interests to have good relations with the US, whether it’s on intelligence, security or military support.

“Ronald Reagan was quite controversial as was George Bush but it’s important that we do have a good relationship between the UK and the US. We have just got to look at the national interest.”

The petition calling for President Trump’s state visit to be cancelled in light of his executive order which is being called a ‘Muslim ban’ has now topped 1.6million signatures but a petition calling for the visit to go ahead has also attracted more than 135,000 names.

Both will now be debated in Parliament on February 20 and Mr Williamson said: “Parliament will have a wide ranging debate and the Government will listen closely to the views of MPs.”

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson issued a statement saying the presidential executive order only applies to individuals travelling from one of the seven named countries – and he stressed the only dual nationals who might face extra checks at the US border are those travelling from one of the seven countries.

But the reassurances did not stop thousands of protestors taking to the streets across the UK to voice their objections to the travel ban and President Trump’s proposed visit.

West Midlands UKIP MEP Bill Etheridge, the purple party’s defence spokesman, however, has said protestors should focus on more important issues closer to home such as the NHS and homelessness.

He told the News: “There are so many key issues to address but instead people are getting side-tracked. Frankly it is getting tiresome.

“Obama did something very similar for six months and there was no furore whatsoever.

“Trump seems to provoke outrage and horror whatever he says and does. Yes, he is brash and at times he could probably do with taking a more measured approach, but this particular policy is a perfectly legitimate move from a head of state.

“He promised to curb immigration in his election manifesto and we should not be surprised to see him taking the action that he has. If he had not brought in this policy he would be letting down many of those who voted for him in the election. Sadly we are hearing a very lopsided argument.

“There are plenty of Muslim countries that ban Israelis but you don’t hear anything about that.”