At least six foreign nationals in the UK are facing the possibility of having their visas revoked due to their anti-Semitic behavior or comments, according to Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick.
The minister has emphasized that those who come to the country must abide by British values. The conduct of some pro-Palestine protesters has sparked fury, with some chanting for “jihad” during a rally in London and others praising the terror group Hamas on social media following the recent violence in Israel.
Mr Jenrick has made it clear that people who spread hate in the country have no right to be here. He stated, “We believe in freedom of speech, but I disagree with your premise that somebody who is here as a visitor to the UK has the right to be anti-Semitic, to threaten British communities and can stay unless that is of criminal standard.”
He further added that conduct below the criminal standard, but still considered wrong by most reasonable people, would result in the revocation of visas for foreign nationals.
The Immigration Minister has written to all police chiefs, reminding them that they can alert the Home Office to individuals celebrating atrocities or engaging in unlawful or extremist behaviour.
Ministers have the power to revoke visas if foreign nationals are deemed to be a threat to national security or not conducive to the public good. The recent protests have reignited the debate on the effectiveness of hate crime laws in the UK.
Sir Mark Rowley, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, has raised concerns about the ability of extremist groups to circumvent current laws.
He stated, “The law that we’ve designed around hate crime and terrorism over recent decades hasn’t taken full account of the ability of extremist groups to steer around those laws and propagate the truly toxic messages through social media. Those lines probably need redrawing.”
Ministers, police, and the Crown Prosecution Service are now examining whether new guidance is required to provide officers with clarity on arresting individuals using existing legislation. This move aims to ensure that the law can effectively address hate crimes and extremist behaviour.