The new Conservative-Party-led government of Prime Minister David Cameron informed Michael Savage it will continue the ban on the top-rated talk-radio host’s entry to the United Kingdom unless he repudiates statements made on his broadcasts that were deemed a threat to public security.
The U.K. Border Agency told Savage through a letter from the treasury solicitor’s office that his “exclusion” from the U.K. that began last year under the Labour Party government of Gordon Brown will continue “in the absence of clear, convincing and public evidence” that he has “repudiated his previous statements.”
As WND reported, then–British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced May 5, 2009, that Savage was on a list of 16 people, along with terrorists and neo-Nazis, banned from entry because the government believed their views might provoke violence. Smith said it was “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.”
Savage today called his ordeal a “true nightmare of Kafka.”
“The ‘new’ British government continues ‘the big lie’ initiated by the previous British government, all based on extracts of radio programs over many years edited by Soros-backed Media Matters to slander me,” he told WND.
Savage said that after “over one straight year of legal hell, I had hoped the new British government would remove my name from their list of actual murderers and terrorists.”
“Apparently there’s been a change of window figures in England,” he said.
Savage said his next course of action will be to take his case before the European Court of Human Rights.
“The European Union seems to be very forgiving of those who have actually murdered people in terror acts,” Savage said. “Let’s see if they will defend my right to free speech.”
The U.K. ban-list includes Hamas terrorist leader Yunis Al-Astal, former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard Stephen Donald Black, neo-Nazi Erich Gliebe and radical American pastor Fred Phelps, known for his virulent anti-gay protests at funerals.
The British government’s letter today, signed for the treasury solicitor by Katrina Leonard-Johnson, explains Savage was “excluded from the U.K. for engaging in unacceptable behaviour by expressing views that seek to provoke others to serious criminal acts and fostering hatred which might lead to intercommunity violence.” The government, however, has not cited any specific statements made by Savage.
Savage has documented his battle over the U.K. ban in his book “Banned in Britain,” which includes official correspondence, released under the U.K.’s freedom-of-information law, that reveals a decision was made at the highest level of government to use his name to provide “balance” to a “least wanted” list dominated by Muslim extremists.
“We will want to ensure that the names disclosed reflect the broad range of cases and are not all Islamic extremists,” reads a draft recommendation, marked “Restricted,” that was obtained as part of Savage’s libel lawsuit against the government and Smith, who resigned from her home-secretary post in June 2009 in the wake of scandal over personal use of taxpayer funds and her controversial ban of Savage.
An e-mail message dated Nov. 27, 2008, from an unnamed Home Office official, says, with regard to Savage, “I can understand that disclosure of the decision would help provide a balance of types of exclusion cases.”
Another e-mail points to complicity by other agencies and even former Prime Minister Brown.
The Home Office “intend to include [Savage] in their quarterly stats. … Both the [foreign secretary and prime minister] are firmly behind listing and naming such people,” it reads.
The e-mails include a message from an unnamed civil servant whose cautions were ignored.
“I think we could be accused of duplicity in naming him,” he wrote without explaining the reason.
Smith’s successor as home secretary, Alan Johnson, called the ban a terrible blunder and told the London Daily Mail he would scrap the policy of maintaining an enemies list. But Savage told WND two days later that, according to his attorney, Johnson’s announcement did not mean his name had been removed from the list.
Last November, Rep. John Culberson, R-Texas, the assistant Republican whip, urged Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to use her position to press the U.K. to grant Savage a travel visa immediately.
Savage still demands an apology from Smith, who has admitted she was not up to being home secretary, explaining she should have been given some training for the job before being named.
In a legal complaint against Smith, Savage noted the home secretary’s office said in a press release that the “controversial daily radio host” is “considered to be engaging in unacceptable behavior by seeking to provoke others to serious criminal acts and fostering hatred which might lead to intercommunity violence.”
The allegations are “entirely false,” the complaint asserts.
“At no time has our client provoked or sought to provoke others to commit crimes or serious criminal acts.”
Savage hosts one of the nation’s most popular radio talk shows, with an estimated 8 million listeners a week on about 400 stations, according to his syndicator, the Talk Radio Network.
On his website, Savage appealed to his listeners to contribute to his legal fund, which he has used for various efforts, including a lawsuit against the Council on American-Islamic Relations for waging a boycott using excerpts of his copyrighted remarks. In the case of Savage’s U.K. ban, however, CAIR has sided with Savage, arguing “freedom of speech is a two-way street.”
“I want to thank the 85,000 people who have signed my petition and the thousands who have donated to the Savage Legal Fund,” Savage said today.