The UK Government has formally rejected calls to scrap an invitation to Donald Trump to enjoy a state visit to Britain later this year, it emerged on Tuesday (14 February).

The Foreign Office statement comes after more than 1.8 million people signed a petition in bid to block the US president meeting with The Queen.

"The Government recognises the strong views expressed by the many signatories of this petition, but does not support this petition," a government spokesperson said.

"During her visit to the United States on 27 January 2017, the prime minister, on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, invited President Trump for a state visit to the UK later this year.

"The invitation was accepted. This invitation reflects the importance of the relationship between the United States of America and the United Kingdom."

The Government said final dates have not yet been agreed, but the visit is expected around June.

The Republican is expected to be met by mass protests after he temporarily banned people travelling to America from seven Muslim-majority countries.

The executive order even prompted House of Commons Speaker John Bercow to block Trump addressing MPs in parliament's Westminster Hall.

The Stop Trump coalition, of politicians and trade unions, has accused Theresa May of treating the public with contempt.

"Nearly two million Britons called on their government not to roll out the red carpet for a man who has instigated a travel ban on Muslims and whose bigoted racist and sexist statements are well known," a spokesperson for the group said.

"Theresa May has shown her contempt for people asking for her to take a stand against racism – and sided with a bigoted megalomaniac instead.

"Theresa May wants to sell the values of tolerance and respect down the river for trade deals and influence with a far-right administration.

"The Government is ignoring the voices of millions of British people, and those who oppose Donald Trump have no option but to mobilise in their millions."