US shock jock banned from UK vows to sue
A US radio shock jock barred from entering the UK said he will sue for defamation after his name appeared on the Home Office's list of 16 "least wanted".
Michael Savage, who hosts far-right talk show The Savage Nation, called Home Secretary Jacqui Smith a "lunatic" and said he was outraged that he had been named alongside hate preachers and a member of Hamas.
Ms Smith said she decided to make public the names of 16 people banned since October so others could better understand what sort of behaviour Britain was not prepared to tolerate.
She told BBC Breakfast that Mr Savage was "someone who has fallen into the category of fomenting hatred, of such extreme views and expressing them in such a way that it is actually likely to cause inter-community tension or even violence if that person were allowed into the country".
But Mr Savage, real name Michael Weiner, insisted he has never advocated violence.
He said: "For this lunatic Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary of England, to link me up with skinheads who are killing people in Russia, to put me in (the same) league with mass murderers who kill Jews on buses is defamation.
"I thought this was a joke or a mistake... How could they put Michael Savage in the same league with mass murderers when I have never avowed violence?
"As a result of this I am going to sue (Ms Smith)."
Also "named and shamed" are American Baptist pastor Fred Waldron Phelps Snr and his daughter Shirley Phelps-Roper, who have picketed the funerals of Aids victims and claimed the deaths of US soldiers are a punishment for US tolerance of homosexuality.
Hamas MP Yunis Al-Astal, Jewish extremist Mike Guzovsky, former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard Stephen Donald Black and neo-Nazi Erich Gliebe are also on the list released yesterday.
Artur Ryno and Pavel Skachevsky, the former leaders of a violent Russian skinhead gang which committed 20 racially motivated murders, are also banned from coming to Britain. Both are currently in prison.
Making up the rest of the 16 named by the Home Office are preachers Wadgy Abd El Hamied Mohamed Ghoneim, Abdullah Qadri Al Ahdal, Safwat Hijazi and Amir Siddique, Muslim activist Abdul Ali Musa (previously Clarence Reams), murderer and Hezbollah terrorist Samir Al Quntar and Kashmiri terror group leader Nasr Javed.