Sixteen people banned from entering the UK were “named and shamed” by the Home Office today.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said she decided to make public the names of 16 people banned since October so others could better understand what sort of behaviour Britain was not prepared to tolerate.
The list includes hate preachers, anti-gay protesters and a far- right US talk show host.
“I think it’s important that people understand the sorts of values and sorts of standards that we have here, the fact that it’s a privilege to come and the sort of things that mean you won’t be welcome in this country,” Ms Smith told GMTV.
“Coming to this country is a privilege. If you can’t live by the rules that we live by, the standards and the values that we live by, we should exclude you from this country and, what’s more, now we will make public those people that we have excluded.
“We are publishing the names of 16 of those that we have excluded since October. We are telling people who they are and why it is we don’t want them in this country.”
She said the number of people excluded from Britain had risen from an average of two a month to five a month since October.
The list of the 16 “least wanted” includes radio talk show host Michael Savage, real name Michael Weiner.
“This is someone who has fallen into the category of fomenting hatred, of such extreme views and expressing them in such a way that it is actually likely to cause inter-community tension or even violence if that person were allowed into the country,” Ms Smith told BBC Breakfast.
Also named are American Baptist pastor Fred Waldron Phelps Snr and his daughter Shirley Phelps-Roper, who have picketed the funerals of Aids victims and claimed the deaths of US soldiers are a punishment for US tolerance of homosexuality.
“If people have so clearly overstepped the mark in terms of the way not just that they are talking but the sort of attitudes that they are expressing to the extent that we think that this is likely to cause or have the potential to cause violence or inter-community tension in this country, then actually I think the right thing is not to let them into the country in the first place. Not to open the stable door then try to close it later,” Ms Smith said.
“It’s a privilege to come to this country. There are certain behaviours that mean you forfeit that privilege.”
Hamas MP Yunis Al-Astal, Jewish extremist Mike Guzovsky, former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard Stephen Donald Black and neo-Nazi Erich Gliebe are also on the list released today.
Artur Ryno and Pavel Skachevsky, the former leaders of a violent Russian skinhead gang which committed 20 racially motivated murders, are also banned from coming to Britain. Both are currently in prison.
Making up the rest of the 16 named by the Home Office today are preachers Wadgy Abd El Hamied Mohamed Ghoneim, Abdullah Qadri Al Ahdal, Safwat Hijazi and Amir Siddique, Muslim activist Abdul Ali Musa (previously Clarence Reams), murderer and Hezbollah terrorist Samir Al Quntar and Kashmiri terror group leader Nasr Javed.