Tags: UK | no | savage | talks

British Government: We Didn't Consult U.S. on Michael Savage Exclusion

Wednesday, 01 Jul 2009 05:08 PM

By Jim Meyers

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The British government has asserted that it never consulted with President Obama's administration before placing conservative talk radio host Michael Savage on a list of people barred from entering the country.

But the British government headed by Prime Minister Gordon Brown did acknowledge that British and American officials have since discussed Mr. Savage and Britain's policy on exclusion.

On May 5, British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith placed Savage's name on a list of 16 undesirables "banned from the U.K. for stirring up hatred and promoting extremist views."

The agency claimed Savage was "considered to be engaging in unacceptable behavior by seeking to provoke others to serious criminal acts and fostering hatred which might lead to inter-community violence."

Savage is one of America's top-rated syndicated radio hosts.

In banning Savage, Britain lumped him together with the likes of Stephen "Don" Black, founder of a Florida-based white supremacist Web site; anti-gay preacher Fred Phelps, who has picketed the funerals of AIDS victims; Hamas lawmaker Yunis Al-Astal; and two Russian gang leaders who were imprisoned for their role in the racially motivated killing of 19 people.

Savage's show is not broadcast in Britain.

At the time, there was some speculation that the banning of Savage, an Obama critic, could be connected to a lawsuit he filed in mid-April against Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano over a DHS report suggesting U.S. military veterans could be targeted by right-wing extremists.

Nigel Evans, a leading Conservative member of parliament in Britain, addressed a question to the Secretary of State for the Home Department, asking "what discussions his department has had with the U.S. administration on the creation of the list of foreign nationals barred from entry to the U.K., with particular reference to the inclusion of Michael Savage on that list."

A reply came from Phil Woolas, Minister of State in the Home Office and a member of the Labour Party: "The Home Office did not consult the U.S. administration about the creation of the list of foreign nationals who are excluded from the United Kingdom on unacceptable behavior grounds, which included U.S. citizen, Michael Savage.

"However, following publication of the list, Home Office and FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) officials have discussed the Government's policy on exclusion with American officials."

Savage filed a libel lawsuit against Home Secretary Smith in early June, seeking an apology and damages.

Smith resigned her post effective June 5 after she came under investigation over allegedly inappropriate expense claims.

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