British MPs are to debate calls for US presidential hopeful Donald Trump to be banned from Britain after his controversial comments about Muslims.

The Commons Petitions Committee has scheduled a session in Westminster Hall on January 18 after 570,000 people signed a petition demanding the billionaire businessman be barred.

Politicians will also discuss a separate petition opposing such a ban, even though it only garnered around 40,000 signatures - well below the 100,000 threshold for triggering a debate.

Republican Mr Trump faced an international backlash last month after urging a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on".

Justifying his comments, he claimed there were "places in London and other places that are so radicalised that police are afraid for their own lives".

Prime Minister David Cameron condemned the remarks as "divisive, stupid and wrong" but made clear he did not support banning Mr Trump.

Labour MP Paul Flynn, a member of the committee, will lead the parliamentary debate.

Chairwoman Helen Jones said: "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. As with any decision to schedule a petition for debate, it simply means that the committee has decided that the subject should be debated.

"A debate will allow a range of views to be expressed."