The radical cleric Anjem Choudary has been permanently banned from entering France, Sky News has learned.
SKYNEWS… The former head of the now outlawed group Islam4UK was stopped with a coach load of his followers as he arrived in the French port of Calais this afternoon.
He had been heading to Paris for a demonstration against the French Government’s controversial decision to ban women from wearing the burka.
The legislation outlawing the full Islamic face veil comes into effect on Monday.
Mr Choudary was detained briefly by French border officials, who handed him a legal notice informing him that the Minister of Interior had decided to deny him entry into France on a permanent basis.
The document cites his membership of the banned groups Islam4UK and Al-Muhajiroun, which he jointly led with the Cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed.
The actions of the French authorities today will only entrench Muslims more in their belief that sovereignty must belong to God alone and any challenge against this will be resisted and rejected.
Bakri Mohammed, an extremist preacher originally from Syria, was banned from re-entering the UK, after he travelled to Lebanon in 2005.
Mr Choudary has also caused controversy with remarks he has made in recent years and protests he and his followers have taken part in.
There was uproar last year when he announced he planned to march 500 coffins through the town of Wootton Bassett in Wiltshire, a community which gained a reputation for regularly honouring British service-personnel killed in Afghanistan.
He wanted to highlight the ‘tens of thousands’ of Muslims who have died in the conflict in Afghanistan, but later called off his plans for the march after officials indicated they would not give permission for it to go ahead.
Mr Choudary said the decision to ban him permanently from France was an “outrage” as he had not broken any law.
He said: “The actions of the French authorities today will only entrench Muslims more in their belief that sovereignty must belong to God alone and any challenge against this will be resisted and rejected.”
While Mr Choudary’s followers were allowed to continue their journey to Paris, he was placed back on a ferry to Dover.
His passport was confiscated and handed to the ferry’s skipper to give to the UK authorities on his arrival back in Dover.
The cleric has told Sky News he plans another protest against the banning of the Burka by the French on Monday, but because of the new ban on him entering France, the protest will take place outside the French embassy in London instead.