The Home Office is reviewing cases where it may revoke visas from those found to have spread hate or supported proscribed terrorist groups, the immigration minister has said after encouraging police forces to refer such incidents in the wake of the Israel-Hamas conflict and related protests.
Robert Jenrick said people who “spread hate”, antisemitism, or support proscribed terrorist organisations like Hamas “have no place in this country” and should have their visas revoked if they meet the necessary legal threshold.
On Friday, Mr Jenrick wrote to police forces saying that, since Hamas terrorists entered and attacked Israel on October 7, police forces have “undertaken numerous arrests as a result of pockets of disorder, violence and hate”, and that it is unacceptable for people to support terrorism and “intimidate” communities.
“A number of those identified in the past fortnight have been individuals who are currently in the UK with temporary leave – for instance on student, work or visit visas,” he said.
Police forces are encouraged to use existing referral mechanisms in such cases, with Mr Jenrick saying: “The Home Office will not hesitate to enforce the law and revoke the visas of such individuals where their presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good.”
Speaking to GB News on Sunday, Mr Jenrick said: “It’s very important to me and the Home Secretary that people who spread hate or support proscribed terrorist organisations like Hamas have no place in this country.
“A visa is a special privilege, it’s not an entitlement, and if you commit comments that create hate or spread antisemitism, then you forfeit that privilege and you should have that visa revoked and you should be expelled from the UK.
“I’ve written to all chief constables across the country, saying that they should refer individuals that come to their attention to the Home Office.
“There is a legal process to be followed, but, as and when we receive those, we will consider them, and if they meet the legal bar, then we will absolutely revoke and expel them.”
He added: “There have been a number of referrals and the first cases are being considered by the Home Office.”
Husam Zomlot, head of the Palestinian mission to the UK, said on Sunday that people attending demonstrations to sow division and intimidate Jews instead of supporting Palestine “should shut up”.
It was put to him that some people have carried Hamas flags and chanted slogans that are “intimidating” for Jewish people, or worn pictures of paragliders taped to their clothing in apparent support for Hamas.
He told Sky News’ Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips programme: “This is abhorrent, unacceptable. Those people hijack our cause for their own twisted logic.
“The Jewish people have nothing to do with it. This is not a religious conflict. Many of those who demonstrated for Palestine yesterday were Jews.
“Many of those strong voices are the Jewish people defending us. Those who have hate in their hearts for Jews would have hate in their hearts for Muslims and Christians. We have nothing to do with them and they should shut up.”
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