March 20, 2023 Faith Matters

Far-right politician will be denied entry to UK, says security minister

A far-right politician planning to burn a copy of the Koran during a visit to Wakefield will “not be allowed access” into the UK, the security minister has said.

Tom Tugendhat said Danish-Swedish Rasmus Paludan, the leader of the Stram Kurs party founded in 2017, has been added to the “warnings index” and will be barred from entering the country.

Mr Paludan has held several protests in which the Koran was burned, some of which have led to violent counter-protests.

In a Twitter video on Sunday, he said that he plans to burn a copy of the Islamic sacred book in a public square in the English city of Wakefield, West Yorkshire, this week to coincide with Ramadan.

Speaking in the Commons during Home Office questions, Labour MP Simon Lightwood (Wakefield) raised concerns over the potential visit and protest.

He said: “Far-right Islamophic Danish politician Rasmus Paludan said he is going to travel from Denmark to Wakefield for the sole purpose of burning a Koran in a public place.

“Mr Paludan was previously jailed in Denmark for his hateful and racist statements. He is a dangerous man that should not be allowed into this country. Can the Home Secretary assure me and my community that the Government is taking action to prevent this?”

Mr Tugendhat replied: “May I inform the House that Mr Paludan has been added to the warnings index and therefore his travel to the United Kingdom would not be conducive with the public good and he will not be allowed access.”