Premier Colin Barnett says he may have “played some role” in controversial Dutch MP Geert Wilders being forced to cancel his speaking engagements in Perth.
Mr Wilders was forced to cancel the speaking component of his visit to Perth when he was unable to find a venue to host him, but he still plans to visit the WA capital.
The Premier said on Wednesday his comment that Mr Wilders was not welcome at government buildings might have affected the right-wing politician’s ability to get a venue.
“I don’t want him here. But he’s here, and I’m not going to interfere now,” Mr Barnett told Fairfax radio.
“But he certainly is not going to use government buildings to promote his message.”
Mr Barnett said it was possible venue operators may have been concerned about demonstrations, which was why no one else offered their venue to Mr Wilders after a four-star hotel cancelled his booking.
The Dutch MP, who wants a ban on Islamic immigration and says the religion is incompatible with freedom, is stirring controversy with his tour of Australia, which began in Melbourne on Tuesday.
Host of the tour, the Q Society, said on Tuesday that finding another venue at short notice was almost impossible because of security needed for the MP and the threat of possible protests.Mr Wilders was still scheduled to travel to Perth for a press conference but the Q Society was not immediately available for comment on Wednesday about when it would be held.
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