HOME secretary Theresa May has said it was “very worrying” that disgraced former Tory parliamentary candidate Afzal Amin was seen to be scheming with the English Defence League (EDL).
May told Eastern Eye it was of “great concern” the Dudley North candidate was allegedly plotting with the EDL to manufacture a protest against a “mega mosque” in Dudley.
Amin, who had denied any wrongdoing, resigned as an election candidate on Monday (23) following a suspension by the party last Saturday (21).
During a speech on Monday where she outlined plans to tackle Islamist extremism, May said: “In terms of the individual’s case, the party has taken action and it made clear its expectation about the action relating to that individual.
“If the reports that have been made are true, then it is of great concern and it is very worrying that that was the approach which was taken.” Amin, a former army officer, was caught on a secret video recording speaking to former EDL leader Tommy Robinson to announce a march against the building of a “mega-mosque”.
It was reported that the plan was for the protest to be scrapped, with Amin taking credit for defusing the situation. In the footage,
Amin is reported to have said: “This is my fantasy. If I could demonstrate to the people in Dudley that I can be a positive voice for community cohesion, for development, for campaigning against the evils and the terrorism and the child grooming and all the rest of it, then that would help me a lot in the forthcoming election.
He added: “It will bring the EDL out of the shadows into the mainstream political debate. If I win my election, in parliament, you’ve got a very strong, unshakeable ally. Ninety-five per cent of what you want to campaign against, we’re with you.”
A Tory spokesman said: “Afzal Amin is resigning as Conservative candidate for Dudley North with immediate effect. Conservative chairman Grant Shapps has welcomed Mr Amin’s decision and thanked him for his work in the past.”
May, who was speaking at the RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) in Parliament Square, also announced measures to ban hate preachers, clampdown on Sharia courts and to push forward a “positive campaign to promote British values” to the public. She said if a Conservative government came into power, then it would make sure that the immigration system “is as strong as it can be when it comes to preventing foreign extremists doing damage here in Britain”.
“We will expect people coming to Britain on time-limited visas to sign a declaration saying they will respect British values while they are here,” she said.
“We will create new powers to refuse or remove licences to sponsor visa applications from people or institutions that promote extremist views or knowingly and without challenge, host extremist speakers. We will refuse asylum to extremists who pose a threat to national security. And we will – through the immigration rules – require all foreign religious workers in pastoral roles to speak English.”
She added that Britain would no longer tolerate those who rejected the country’s values of democracy, free speech, equality and the rule of law, adding that Islamist extremism presented the most serious and widespread problem.
“We have been clear all along that the government’s counter-extremism strategy must seek to defeat extremism in all its forms, but it’s obvious from the evidence that the most serious and widespread form of extremism we need to confront is Islamist extremism.
“Islamist extremists believe in a clash of civilisations. They promote a fundamental incompatibility bet ween Islamic and Western values, an inevitable divide between “them and us”.
“To those who choose consciously to reject our values and the basic principles of our society, the message is clear: the game is up,” May said.
“We will no longer tolerate your behaviour.”