Populist UK MEP Janice Atkinson of the Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF) parliamentary group slammed the British government in a press conference at the European Parliament on Wednesday over the recent treatment of Canadian journalist and activist Lauren Southern.
Ms. Atkinson, who serves as a Vice-President of the ENF, a group which has included Dutch firebrand Geert Wilders, former French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, Italian La Lega leader Matteo Salvini, and others, slammed the UK government for detaining and refusing entry to Ms. Southern under the UK terrorism act.
Atkinson railed against the government, which she said should be looking outward to the rest of the world in terms of trade after Brexit, for refusing Southern entry.
Ms. Southern, who was detained under the Terrorism Act for “inciting racial hatred” for a social experiment she and others undertook in which they claimed “Allah is a gay God”, explained her story of being detained and asked questions such as her thoughts on running down Muslims with a truck.
She also gave context to the “Allah is a gay God” social experiment claiming she had been inspired by a Vice News article from 2015 which claimed Jesus Christ had been a homosexual man and wanted to see if such speech was allowed when referring to other religions in the UK.
Before the press conference, Atkinson told Breitbart London: “How can this Conservative government stop young conservative people who are concerned about their freedoms and European identity coming into the UK, yet they cannot stop 500 jihadis re-entering the UK and do not have the manpower to monitor them?”
“Amber Rudd is going after the easy targets of young conservatives and free speech but is presiding over yet another failure to stop Pakistani grooming gangs in Telford. We’ve lost all sense of proportion, fairness, and are becoming a totalitarian state,” she added.
— Janice Atkinson (@Janice4Brexit) March 14, 2018
On Twitter, Atkinson posted a picture of Southern with former UKIP leader Nigel Farage who has previously commented on Southern’s case and announced an interview with her Wednesday.
Former UKIP MEP Steven Woolfe also took to Twitter, posting a picture of him with Southern and writing that the Canadian’s ban was “pathetic” and that is was “embarrassing” that free speech was taking place in the European Parliament, but banned in London.
Just had a chat with @Lauren_Southern about her pathetic ban from UK with wonderful @Janice_Atkinson. Good enough to be in @Europarl_EN but not London embarrassing free speech allowed here but not UK pic.twitter.com/tto21uYHF4
— Steven Woolfe MEP (@Steven_Woolfe) March 14, 2018
The detention and banning of Southern came only days after the three-day detention of Identitarian activist Martin Sellner and American author and political commentator Brittany Pettibone who were both also banned from entering the UK.