Wilders visits UK after court overturns ban

Controversial politician and leader of the right-wing Freedom Party (PVV) Geert Wilders traveled to the United Kingdom on Friday. The visit comes after the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal in London ruled earlier this week that Wilders should not have been refused entry to the country in February 2009.

Wilders was invited in February to show his anti-Islam film Fitna at the House of Lords, the UK upper house of parliament. The invitation had come from UK Independence party peer, Lord Pearson. The British Home Office refused Mr Wilders entry to the country, giving the reason that his visit would “threaten community security and therefore public security”. A British organisation that promotes freedom of expression, the Birkenhead Society, had brought the case on his behalf, Radio Netherlands Worldwide reports.

BBC reports that Wilders told a packed press conference in Westminster he was “proud of the UK asylum and immigration tribunal” for overturning the ban, and repeated his criticism of Muslim ideology, defending his call for the Quran to be banned in Holland. About 40 Muslim protesters gathered outside the Abbey Gardens buildings, opposite the Houses of Parliament, where the press conference was held.