Dutch anti-Islam MP enters Britain

A controversial Dutch MP previously banned from Britain because of his outspoken views on Islam landed in London this morning and held a press conference in Parliament.

Last week he successfully overturned the ban. Speaking inside Westminster today, he said being in Britain was “a victory for freedom of speech”.

A Home Office spokesman said the original ban was the “right decision” at the time.

But added: “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.”

In a press conference earlier today, Mr Wilders said: “Being here is a victory,” adding, “Not a victory for myself but for the freedom of speech.

“It is ridiculous that the UK government thought my presence would in any way lead to violence. I have nothing to do with violence, I am no extremist, I am a politician who is democratically elected.”

He continued: “I am not extreme, I am not a racist. Don’t forget some people were very angry when I made the comparison between Mein Kampf and the Koran.”

“I am not the first one to make that comparison. Winston Churchill and many others made that comparison”, he added.

Mr Wilders, speaking from the Netherlands before he arrived in the UK, said: “I hope that the British people will be grateful that I come – not because I’m Geert Wilders or my point of view, but because the decision by the court in Britain to overrule the decision was a victory for freedom of speech.

“Whether people agree with me or not, people will agree people should not be banned for their point of view.”

Mr Wilders was originally invited by the UK Independence Party’s Lord Pearson of Rannoch in February to show his anti-Koran film, Fitna, at a private screening in Parliament.

The film features quotations from the Koran with footage of terrorist atrocities and speeches by Muslim preachers.

During his current visit Mr Wilders is expected to visit the House of Lords on the invitation of Lord Pearson but he is not planning to show Fitna while he is in the UK.

The Home Office said it was “disappointed” with the decision made by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal and is considering an appeal against the ruling.

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