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  1. Politics
16 November 2009

Geert Wilders due to arrive in the UK

Right-wing Dutch MP to visit after the ban on his entry was overturned

By Staff Blogger

The far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders is due to arrive in the UK today after the ban on his entry was overturned by a tribunal.

In Februrary he was turned away by immigration officials at Heathrow airport after the then Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, ruled that his presence could pose a threat to public safety.

The Freedom Party leader had intended to show his film Fitna, which links the Koran to terrorism, to the House of Lords. The Freedom Party leader has been widely accused of Islamophobia and is currently facing trial in Holland for inciting hatred.

He will visit the House of Lords today at the invitation of the UK Independence Party peer Lord Pearson.

A spokesman for the Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, said: “Any European visitor’s right to enter the UK will be considered on its merits by an immigration officer.

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“On this occasion the home secretary is not minded to recommend that Wilders is denied admission to the UK.

“Clearly Mr Wilders’ statements and behaviour during a visit will inevitably impact on any future decisions to admit him.”

Asked by Sky News if he feared his visit could result in violence, he said: “They (the Home Office) thought I might be the cause of community disharmony and public security problems, which I found strange.

“I showed Fitna in the US Senate, I showed it in the Danish parliament, I showed it in Jerusalem – I’m also set to show it to the Czech parliament – and nothing happened in any of those countries.

“Nothing happened, there was no violence. I’m non-violent, I just have an idea.”

The Home Office is currently considering whether to appeal against the decision to allow Wilders to visit. It said it would make a final decision after the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal’s written judgement was published next week.

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