The Dutch ambassador to Britain will be at Heathrow airport in London on Thursday to offer assistance to anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders when he arrives on British soil, says foreign minister Maxime Verhagen.
Wilders has been banned from the UK because his presence would constitute a threat to public order and because of his extreme views. He had been invited by a member of the British upper house of parliament to attend a showing of his 15-minute anti-Islam video compilation.
‘Ultimately, it is up to Britain to decide who can enter the country. They have banned people before, from imams to right-wing Israeli politicians,’ news agency ANP quoted Verhagen as saying. ‘Wilders knows he will be refused entry but it is up to him to decide whether or not to go.’
According to Trouw, Dutch justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin made a second attempt to get British home secretary Jacqui Smith to change her mind about the ban on Wednesday.
And Dutch deputy prime minister Wouter Bos said that the British government had made a wrong decision in banning the MP.
‘They say Wilders is an inciter of hatred, but you are only that if you have been convicted. I think European politicians should be able to travel freely throughout the EU as long as they have not been found guilty,’ the Telegraaf quoted Bos as saying.
Last month the Amsterdam appeal court said Wilders, who leads the anti-immigration party PVV which has nine seats in parliament, should be prosecuted for inciting hatred and discrimination.
More on this
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Britain refuses entry to ‘extremist’ Wilders
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