Janice Atkinson, MEP, Slams Home Secretary For ‘Shutting Down Free Speech And Closing Borders To The Wrong People’ By Barring UK Entry To Young Populist Campaigners
Janice Atkinson, Independent MEP for the South East of England, has accused Home Secretary Amber Rudd of acting against British values and freedom of speech in excluding from the UK young right-wing thinkers and campaigners who question multi-culturalism and uncontrolled migration.
In a devastating letter to the Home Secretary, she singles out the cases of Canadian citizen Lauren Southern, US citizen Brittany Pettibone and her Austrian boyfriend Martin Sellner – a constituent of Janice’s – all of whom were arrested and detained before being deported from the UK. Another EU national, Abel Bodi was also recently barred from entering the UK on similar grounds.
In Mr Sellner’s case he returned to the UK as he was free to do as an EU citizen, only to be arrested and incarcerated in Colnbrook detention centre prior to his second deportation because his views, the Home Office claims, are “not compatible with British values”.
In her letter Janice accuses the Home Secretary of cynically targeting the wrong people in a phoney bid to prove that she is tough on extremism. Instead, she says, the Government should fall into line with the views of the vast majority of voters and and crack down on Muslim extremists both in the UK and those jihadists who seek to return from Syria to threaten British values and society.
In her letter she tells Ms Rudd: “By acting in this way against these young people you have sent a powerful message about your style of government….You are shutting down free speech and closing our borders to the wrong people.
“You cannot monitor the 35,000 jihadis we know are in our communities: you could not prevent the 500 returning jihadis who have fought with ISIS from entering the UK: you have not closed a single Mosque that practises hate speech…..and you allow radical Islamists to march with and fly the ISIS flag. Is any of this compatible with those British values you invoke in excluding these young people?.
“You are targeting the wrong people that to create the illusion in your mind and in the minds of the liberal Left that you are being tough on extremism.
“These young people you have excluded from the UK are part of a growing army of voters who are deeply angry with their current ruling parties. The only effect of your targeting them will be to swell the numbers of those who share their views.”
Janice adds: “This whole scandal begs the very pertinent question of Amber Rudd of just how she would define British values. Like millions of British citizens as we approach Brexit, I am completely unable to judge from the government’s double standards exactly what values it thinks it is upholding.
“I would like to hope that my letter to the Home Secretary might finally produce an explanation of the government’s cynically muddled thinking on this whole issue.”