UK

Government looks to stop hate preachers from entering UK

Ministers are looking to make greater use of powers to block people seen as ‘non-conducive to the public good’.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak gives his speech on extremism in Downing Street
Rishi Sunak press conference Prime Minister Rishi Sunak gives his speech on extremism in Downing Street (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

The Government is planning to prevent hate preachers from entering the UK following the Prime Minister’s speech warning about a rise in extremism.

According to reports, the new plans will see identified extremists added to visa warning lists and refused entry to the UK.

It is understood ministers believe they can make greater use of powers to block people from entering the UK if they are seen as “non-conducive to the public good”.

Typically used to prevent people who pose known security concerns from coming to the UK, it is understood the new plans will extend the powers to include those preaching racism, incitement or using intimidation or violence to undermine the democratic process.

According to The Sunday Telegraph, the Home Office is also looking to clamp down on “far-left, anti-democratic” organisations.

The moves follow Rishi Sunak’s speech in Downing Street, in which he warned that democracy is being targeted by extremists and there were “forces here at home trying to tear us apart”.

Lord Walney, the Government’s independent adviser on political violence and disruption who conducted an official review into fringe groups, told the Telegraph there has been “an unholy alliance” between far-left groups and Islamist extremism on protest marches.

He said there was a “gap in the Government’s understanding of damage the anti-democratic far left can do.”

He told the Telegraph: “One of the conclusions of my review is to look at and understand the threat from anti-democratic far-left groups, alongside that posed by Islamists and the far right.

“For understandable reasons, the focus since 9/11 has been on violent terrorism.

“Because the far left has not posed a similar kind of violent threat, there has been less understanding and less focus on the way in which they can harm our society.”

A Home Office spokesman said it was considering the report’s recommendations “extremely carefully”.

Pro-Palestine protests continued across England and Wales on Saturday following Mr Sunak’s warning that demonstrations and democracy itself were being targeted by extremists.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign singled out Barclays bank for its day of action, assembling at nearly 50 locations including the branch on Tottenham Court Road in central London.