Meanwhile, Abu Qatada lives, eats, and shops on the government dole. That’ll show ’em. “Just one ‘preacher of hate’ deported in last three years,” by Andrew Porter and Caroline Gammell for the Telegraph, October 28:
Ministers unveiled a 12 point plan to crack down on fanatics in the wake of the 7/7 bombings.
But three years on it been revealed that only one person has been deported from Britain, in 2006, for “fomenting extremism.” Only two people have been stripped of UK citizenship as part of measures promised by Tony Blair.
In addition only nine people have been deported on “national security grounds” since 2005.
The figures – published in Home Office answers to questions from Tory MP James Clappison – came as Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, attempted to launch a new push designed to stop fanatics entering Britain.
Her efforts were attacked by Mr Clappison, a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee. He said it amounted to little more than a re-announcement and admission of failure.
He said: “The Government has been promising to draw up a list of preachers to be excluded since 2005 and failed to do so. They are treating the public with contempt by failing to deliver on a number of points in its 12-point plan.
“The Government’s implementation of what was supposed to be a proper clamping down on serious threats to this country has been feeble. They have a woeful record on these matters.”
Deporting preachers of hate living in Britain was a key element in a 12-point-plan announced by Tony Blair in August 2005 after the terrorist attacks in London. He said the measures would see foreigners deported or barred from entering Britain for justifying terrorism and encouraging hatred between communities.
The Home Office published a list of “unacceptable behaviour” which was part of an attempt to deal with radical clerics. Three years on Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, yesterday attempted to launch a renewed push to stop extremists entering Britain.
Miss Smith yesterday said that 230 people have been barred from entering the UK – 79 of them religious extremists.
She said in the future, the names of all those barred from Britain will be shared with other countries, as well as community groups and leaders in the UK.
Speculation that the Government would “name and shame” yesterday (tues) all those already on the list proved unfounded and led to the accusation that the announcement was little more than a “tawdry gimmick”.
A Home Office spokeswoman said names would not be drip-fed to the public, but revealed if there was genuine public interest.
“These new rules will make it easier to exclude those who want to come to the UK to stir up religious or racial hatred – our presumption will be to keep people involved in these behaviours out of our country.
“For the first time we will name and shame preachers of hate and share our exclusions list with other countries to help them decide who should be excluded from their countries.”
Alleged extremists will have to prove their innocence under rules designed to target radical Islamists, neo-Nazis and violent animal rights activists. Currently the burden of proof rests with the Government.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said: “Through these tough new measures I will stop those who want to spread extremism, hatred and violent messages in our communities from coming to our country.
“Coming to the UK is a privilege and I refuse to extend that privilege to individuals who abuse our standards and values to undermine our way of life.”
Among those already banned are Muslim cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed, who ran the radical group Al-Muhajiroun, and Abdullah al-Faisal, a Mulsim [sic] preacher who influenced July 7 bomber Germaine Lindsay.