Jon Rogers, Express, March 1, 2017
The 53-year-old, who is currently riding high in the opinion polls, had been forced to cancel all public events after revelations of leaks from the police team guarding him.
The Dutch Party for Freedom (PVV) leader had been living under 24-hour police protection since an Islamist militant’s 2004 murder of fellow Islam critic Theo van Gogh.
But the Special Security Assignments Brigade (SAB), which is normally in charge of guarding embassies in countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq, has been called in to help protect the hardline politician.
Mr Wilders had been forced to cancel all public appearances ahead of the Dutch vote on March 15 after it emerged that a member of the protection squad – identified only as Faris K – had leaked information to Moroccan criminal gangs.
After revealing the SAB was bolstering Mr Wilders’ security, the PVV leader said in a statement: “Voters want to see us. The security risks will be kept to a minimum.”
SAB is also tasked with protecting Dutch politicians and officials when they travel abroad.
As the Dutch election heads into its final stages with just two weeks to go, the latest opinion poll shows the right wing candidate slipping to second place in the Peilingwijzer poll of polls.
Mr Wilders was on 15.7 per cent, behind the conservative VVD party of prime minister Mark Rutte for the first time since November.
Mr Rutte’s party was on 16.3 per cent, the poll aggregator said in an update published on Wednesday.
The Dutch election is the first of three elections in European Union founder members this year, with anti-EU parties in France and Germany also hoping concerns over EU stability and immigration will.