Irving decision is a blow for free speech, says Locke

Green MP Keith Locke has accused the Immigration Service of not upholding the right of free speech in its refusal to allow David Irving into the country.

The Immigration Service has today confirmed that the controversial historian will be denied entry to New Zealand, on the grounds that he has been deported from another country. Mr Irving was deported from Canada in 1992.

“David Irving’s holocaust denial views are repugnant to most New Zealanders but that is not sufficient reason to bar him from New Zealand,” said Mr Locke, the Green Party Human Rights spokesperson.

“His fatally flawed analysis has been rubbished in open debate. Banning him only gives more publicity to his obnoxious views.

“His deportation from Canada is irrelevant, unless we have just become a Canadian colony. What next: are we going to ban Salman Rushdie because Iran doesn’t like him?

“We have plenty of people with extreme views in New Zealand. Are we now going to stop them expressing themselves? The banning of David Irving sets a bad precedent for free speech in this country,” said Mr Locke.