Home Secretary defends entry ban on US ‘shock jock’ Michael Savage

May 19, 2009 at 1:51 pm Leave a comment

homeoffice
A Tory MP accused the Home Secretary of a “gimmick” in announcing a list of people banned from entry into the UK.

Among them was an American radio personality, Michael Savage, who has threatened to sue the government for associating him with terrorists and criminals on the list.

Jacqui Smith told MPs he was excluded from entering the country “for engaging in unacceptable behaviour by seeking to provoke others to serious criminal acts and by fostering hatred that might lead to inter-community violence.”

“The exclusion is in line with the strengthened policy on exclusions that I announced to the House on 28 October last year,” she said.

“In his radio broadcasts, Mr. Savage has spoken about killing 100 million Muslims, and he has spoken in violent terms about homosexuals.

“Coming to the UK is a privilege. I refuse to extend that privilege to individuals who abuse our standards and values to undermine our way of life.”

Conservative MP Michael Fabricant claimed the ban was “ludicrous” and claimed it brought the country into disrepute in the eyes of Americans.

“Does she also plan to ban Howard Stern, Rush Limbaugh and other middle-aged, white, ordinary, American radio presenters?” he asked.

Ms Smith referred to Mr Savage’s comments about killing Muslims were reason to exclude him on the grounds of our security.

Tory MP Crispin Blunt said the Home Office’s ‘name and shame’ list is “a self-evident gimmick and demeaning to Government, and it has led to a completely avoidable legal action that is producing splendid publicity for Michael Savage.”

Ms Smith referred again to Mr Savage’s comments, this time that gay people “should get AIDS and die.”

“In developing our policy, we have taken an even-handed approach in saying that if people foment hate,” she told MPs.

“If their aim is to drive division between different faiths and potentially to cause inter-community violence in this country—then they are not welcome in this country.”

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