25 September 2012
Queen Elizabeth pressed Government to arrest Muslim cleric Abu Hamza
'It is up to parliament and the courts to deal with these complex issues, not the queen'
BRITISH campaign group 'Republic' have told the Queen of England to “keep out of politics” after it was revealed today that she had lobbied Government ministers to arrest Muslim radical preacher Abu Hamza.
The European Court of Human Rights ruled on Monday that Abu Hamza could be extradited to the USA, where he faces charges of attempting to establish a guerrilla training camp in Oregon and provided material support to the Taliban.
BBC Security Correspondent Frank Gardner revealed on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme that Queen Elizabeth had raised concerns with previous British Labour Government ministers over the activities of the radical Muslim cleric and lobbied to have him arrested.
Gardner said the monarch had told him she had personally lobbied the Home Secretary to have Abu Hamza al-Marshi arrested. She was “aghast” when it was revealed the police were unable to do so as he had not committed any crimes in Britain.
Graham Smith, a spokesperson for pressure group Republic, which wants to see an end to the monarchy and replaced by a republican constitution, said that the incident shows how the unelected monarch has interfered in the political process.
“It is up to parliament and the courts to deal with these complex issues, not the queen,” he said. Monarchists argue the queen always remains above politics. Clearly that is not the case.
“Will she also be making her views known on Julian Assange or Gary McKinnon? [McKinnon is wanted in the US for computer hacking] Is she all the while meddling in the political process and demanding action from the courts?”
Incredibly, the BBC has since apologised for revealing the truth about the monarch’s meddling in legal matters and said the conversation “should have remained private”.
Tim Luckhurst, a former BBC editor, said the apology “looks alarmingly like deference”, adding:
“Journalists should not defer to elites.”
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