Banned Dutch MP removed from UK
By politics.co.uk staff
The Dutch MP banned from coming to the UK to show his anti-Islam film has been removed from the country.
Geert Wilders boarded a flight in the Netherlands earlier today despite knowing of the ban, saying he wanted to see a “stronger response” from the Dutch government to the Home Office decision.
Heathrow airport authorities quickly refused him entry.
Speaking to the BBC this afternoon, Mr Wilders said: “Gordon Brown is the biggest coward in Europe” and “it is a very sad day”.
Earlier today, Lord Pearson, the UKIP peer who invited Dutch MP Geert Wilders to show his film in the House of Lords, has defended his invitation.
Yesterday the Home Office barred the MP from entering Britain, saying he would spread hatred.
I do think he has a right to say what he is saying, particularly in the mother of parliaments,” he told journalists in parliament square.
“This man is raising one of the most important issues of our time, which is Islamic militarism,” he continued.
“If you want to take the side of an appeasing British government then do so.
“We are not threatening anyone. They are threatening us with violence if we show the film.”
The film, called Fitna, opens with images of the Qur’an which is followed by footage of terrorist attacks around the world.
“The government opposes extremism in all forms,” a Home Office statement read.
“It will stop those who want to spread extremism, hatred, and violent messages in our communities from coming to our country.”
Mr Wilder told the BBC: “It’s incredible that an elected politician who was invited by one of your parliamentarians to a discussion with people who are against me, or in favour of me [was banned from the UK].”
Mr Wilders added: “I was surprised and very saddened that the freedom of speech that was a very strong point of UK society has been harassed. I thought Great Britain had the mother of all parliaments.”
Mr Wilder is due to go on trial in his home country for inciting violence.
The Netherlands, traditionally famed for its tolerance and progressive politics, has been moving slowly right-wards over the last decade.