If President Donald Trump visits Birmingham during his visit to England – which is what some national newspapers are suggesting – then he’ll find a multicultural city that can teach him a thing or two about “tolerance and diversity."
At least that’s the view of the Birmingham Mail. But the newspaper might find itself at loggerheads with some of its readers who are already backing a “Dump Trump” petition.
The petition calling for the US President to be banned from Birmingham, was started by Liam Byrne, Labour MP for Birmingham Hodge Hill. But then Mail print editor Paul Cole came up with an idea for the newspaper to encourage its readers in the country’s “most multicultural city” to teach Mr Trump “a thing or two”.
Mail editor Marc Reeves told media website HTFP: “When the Sundays came out with the story about Trump’s visit to the city, we pondered the Birmingham Mail’s response for a little while. It’s a massively diverse city, so we knew our readership could be divided on the question of whether his visit would be welcomed. A local MP was quick off the mark with a ‘Dump Trump’ petition, but that didn’t feel right to us.
“After fighting our corner on the Section 40 question we thought it would be hypocritical to call for the most powerful man in the world to be prevented from talking to our readers.
“Then Paul Cole, the Mail’s print editor, came up with the line that we should welcome the president because Birmingham has much to teach him about tolerance and diversity. Once that was set everything else came together.”
Since taking office last month, Mr Trump has attracted controversy over his policies on issues including immigration, gun ownership and women’s rights.
Writing an editorial on the subject, Marc said: “We will prove you wrong, just as we proved Enoch Powell wrong after he made his Rivers of Blood speech here in April 1968. We did not agree with his views but we respected his right to express them, and welcomed the opportunity to debunk them.
“To ban your visit would be the easy option, Mr President, but it goes against the hard won freedoms generations of Brummies have battled for.
“So, yes, Mr Trump , you’re welcome to come to Brum. We have lots for you to learn…"