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UK

Dutch anti-Islam leader sparks protests in London

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LONDON (Reuters) - A Dutch anti-Islamist politician who successfully overturned a ban on him entering Britain flew to London Friday where his visit prompted demonstrations for and against his strong views.

Geert Wilders, whose Freedom Party (PVV) did well in Dutch local elections this week, denounced Islam at a media event held opposite Britain’s Parliament and predicted he would be next prime minister of the Netherlands.

“Our enormous election success, together with national polls, means I’m confident that we have a chance to become the biggest party, and therefore of my becoming the next prime minister,” Wilders said while demonstrators chanted outside.

Dozens of police separated anti-Wilders demonstrators shouting “Nazi thugs off our streets” from his supporters.

A recent poll suggested the PVV would win 27 seats in the 150-member Dutch parliament in an election to be held on June 9. This would make it the largest party in the fragmented assembly.

Wilders said he was willing to compromise some of his policies in order to enter a coalition with minority parties, but that his plan to bar all future immigration of Muslims was non-negotiable.

“On the agenda of Islamification, there is no room for manoeuvre,” he said. “We must stop the Islamification of society.”

Last year Wilders successfully overturned a ban on him entering Britain. This is his second visit to London in five months.

Additional reporting by Valle Aviles Pinedo; Editing by Tim Castle, Peter Griffiths and Michael Roddy

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