Anyone would think it might be a one off Labour inviting a ruler who denies basic freedoms to his citizens that we take for granted in the UK over for a state visit. But no, they'd be wrong.
Back in June 1978, the then Labour government invited Nicolai and Elena Ceausescu, the Communist leader of Romania and his wife, for a state visit including a full Royal state reception.
Roy Hattersley wrote some years later about how President Ceausescu "paid a visit to the duty free shop where he bought large quantities of rubbish which he charged to Her Britannic Majesty." At least we are guaranteed that the Saudi King, someone who preaches abstinence from alcohol in accordance with Islamic principles, will not be doing this.
This does remind us though that when Labour are in power some things never change. It appears the guiding principles on which the Labour Party were formed count for very little when they are in in 10 Downing Street.