Talk radio legend and New York Times bestselling author Michael Savage is petitioning British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to lift a ten-year travel ban on him for reasons that were never justified by the U.K. government.
In May 2009, the United Kingdom barred Savage and other 21 individuals, claiming his commentary on Islam and immigration foster hatred.
“The ban has stood in place for a decade. Now is the time to lift the ban and take a stand for the rights of free speech that have come under assault in the land of the Magna Carta,” Daniel Horowitz, an attorney for Savage, wrote in a letter to Johnson.
The list, compiled by Gordon Brown’s government, also includes Hamas terror leader Yunis Al-Astal and Stephen Donald Black, a Ku Klux Klan grand wizard. Savage, neither racist or dangerous, has long championed American values and democracy and advocated for strong ties with the U.K. Yet, the government still placed him on a list with terrorists and neo-Nazis.
Then-Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, who added Savage to the list, never pointed to a specific broadcast or statement from Savage that prompted the ban. It is unknown whether she has ever listened to Savage’s longtime nationally-syndicated broadcast.
“[Savage’s] theory of compassionate conservatism and his ardent supporter of Americans who serve in the Armed Forces make him a figure deserving of accolades, not banishment. Smith never explained how the list was formed, nor whether she had ever listened to a single Savage radio broadcast,” wrote Horowitz. “She was, however, embroiled in scandal at the time, including charges that she used government monies to pay for her husband’s pornography. She resigned one month to the day after the banned list was published.”
After the ban was announced, Johnson, then-serving as mayor of London, blasted the decision, calling it “utterly demented.”
In 2017, the radio host launched a petition asking President Donald Trump to lobby the U.K. to drop its ban against him, which garnered thousands of signatures from across the United States.