A controversial US radio host has been told he must change his beliefs if he hopes to visit Britain, despite reports that he was banned because the Home Office wanted some non-Muslims on its exclusion list.
According to internet site WorldNetDaily, Michael Savage has received a letter from UK Government lawyers calling on him to “publicly renounce the statements which formed the basis of the decision to exclude him”.
The letter comes despite the disclosure of Home Office correspondence proving that the exclusion list was deliberately formulated “to ensure that the names disclosed reflect the broad range of cases and are not all Islamic extremists”.
Mr Savage hosts America’s third most popular radio talk show, where his controversial views are heard by eight million listeners every week.
When announcing its list of individuals banned from entering Britain, the Home Office accused Mr Savage (whose real name is Michael Weiner) of “engaging in unacceptable behaviour by seeking to provoke others to serious criminal acts and fostering hatred which might lead to inter-community violence”.
Mr Savage, who had not applied for entry to Britain, denied the allegation and claimed he had been added to the list because he was “controversial and white”.
He demanded an apology from then Home Secretary Jacqui Smith. Having received no reply he issued a lawsuit against Miss Smith for defamation.
With the libel action ongoing, correspondence released to Mr Savage’s lawyers under Freedom of Information legislation shows that his name appeared on the ‘least wanted’ list to “help provide a balance of types of exclusion cases”.
One civil servant warned that “we could be accused of duplicity in naming him,” but added that the decision could be justified by Mr Savage’s ‘homophobia’.
Blogging for The Daily Telegraph, journalist Ed West said: “Savagegate is the latest example of the Labour Government’s refusal to recognise that the only real threat to our country is from Muslim terrorists.
“Rather than explaining honestly that the only reason mosques and Muslim groups are investigated by MI5 is because there are no Jews or Christians trying to attack this country, the Government tries to deny the theological nature of the terrorists, and to desperately find non-Muslims to threaten us.
“While this may be comforting to atheists who want to paint all religions as violent, and to lefties who want to suggest that conservatives are no different from the Taliban, it has led to a massive loss of trust in what the authorities say.”