‘Everyone went on the Wilders circus’

Many of the Dutch papers carry detailed accounts of anti-Islam MP Geert Wilder’s unsuccessful trip to London yesterday accompanied by dozens of reporters.

Wilders was told earlier this week that he would be refused entry to Britain.
‘Wilders go home’ is the English headline on the Telegraaf’s front page story on the MP’s abortive efforts to get into Britan to attend a sceeening of his anti-Islam film Fitna. The paper carries a photograph of a grim-faced Wilders being escorted past a glass wall.
The Volkskrant has two photographs, one on the journey to London and one on the trip back. ‘Everyone went on the Wilders circus’, the paper says. It claims at least 50 journalists travelled with him to watch him being refused entry at Heathrow airport.
First time
After all, the paper says, never before has an MP from one European Union country been refused entry to another. His every movement was recorded: ‘Wilders has taken off, Wilders has landed. There were live broadcasts from Heathrow in four languages.’
‘Wilders is now famous in Britain,’ writes De Pers. ‘He is that very blonde man who wants to ban the Koran and arrived in London to be declared an undesirable alien and be sent back home.’
Meanwhile the diplomatic row over the affair continues. And in the UK, criticism is mounting of the British government’s decision to ban Wilders.
Former Conservative cabinet minister Michael Portillo told the BBC that by turning away Geert Wilders, ministers had made a ‘populist twit and bigot’ world famous.

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