Piers Morgan
Piers Morgan will not be deported from the US, the government has said (Reuters)

Piers Morgan will not be deported back to the UK following an online petition calling for him to be thrown out of the US.

The White House has responded to the petition Deport British Citizen Piers Morgan for Attacking 2nd Amendment by saying US citizens must keep the First Amendment - freedom of speech - in mind.

The petition was launched on the White House website after Morgan questioned the Second Amendment - the right to bear arms - following the Sandy Hook Elementary school massacre, in which 20 children and six adults were murdered.

It said: "We demand that Mr Morgan be deported immediately for his effort to undermine the Bill of Rights and for exploiting his position as a national network television host to stage attacks against the rights of American citizens."

The petition achieved over 109,000 signatures - far surpassing the 30,000 needed for a presidential response.

However, the "demand" was denied by the government, meaning Morgan will remain in the US.

Fundamental principles

Jay Carney, White House press secretary, said: "Let's not let arguments over the Constitution's Second Amendment violate the spirit of its First.

"President Obama believes that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. However, the Constitution not only guarantees an individual right to bear arms, but also enshrines the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press - fundamental principles that are essential to our democracy

"Americans may disagree on matters of public policy and express those disagreements vigorously, but no one should be punished by the government simply because he or she expressed a view on the Second Amendment - or any other matter of public concern."

In response, Morgan tweeted his thanks to the president: "President Obama has officially decided I am NOT being deported.

"Thanks for keeping me, Mr President - much appreciated."

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