Page last updated at 15:32 GMT, Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Oral questions

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The government has defended its decision to ban the American talk show host Michael Savage from entering the UK.

At oral questions on 12 January 2010, Home Office Minster Lord West of Spithead said the current Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, was not prepared to review the decision unless there was "clear, convincing and public evidence that Mr Savage has repudiated his previous statements".

He said former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith had made it clear that Mr Savage was excluded for "engaging in unacceptable behaviour by making comments that might provoke others to serious criminal acts and fostering hatred that might lead to inter-community violence".

The controversial radio presenter was on a list of 22 people named last year by the Home Office as being banned from coming to Britain.

Lord Pearson of Rannoch, leader of the UK Independence Party, called on the government to make clear what statements it had objected to.

Lord West said: "He has made a number of radio broadcasts. He spoke about killing 100 million Muslims, he spoke in very violent and unpleasant terms about homosexuals.

"I don't really want to quote those statements on the floor of the House," he added, but offered to write to Lord Pearson with the details.

Labour's Lord Peston commented: "I was under the impression this was part of the government's policy of protecting British jobs for British workers.

"Namely we produce enough nutcases in this country without needing to import any from the United States."

Other questions focused on ministers who refuse to answer written parliamentary questions, environmentally sustainable prisons, and the value of CCTV in fighting crime.

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