MP stopped from boarding flight to Canada ‘because his name was Mohammad’

An MP was stopped from boarding a flight to Canada “as a result of his title was Mohammad”, Parliament has heard.

Labour MP for Bedford Mohammad Yasin was as a result of fly to Canada with a gaggle of different MPs from the Commons Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee when he was delayed for further questioning.

Mr Yasin was requested if he was carrying a knife or another weapon and the place he was born when he was taken apart by officers from Air Canada.

Labour MP Mohammad Yasin was delayed for further questioning when travelling to and from Canada (Chris Radburn/PA)

He underwent comparable questioning from officers on his return journey to the UK, MPs had been advised.

Clive Betts, the Labour chairman of the committee, raised the incident within the Commons and mentioned he would write to the Canadian excessive commissioner within the UK to clarify the “racist and Islamophobic nature” of what occurred was unacceptable.

Mr Yasin watched from the Labour backbenches as Mr Betts raised a degree of order concerning the “severe incident”, which he mentioned occurred final week.

The committee chairman mentioned: “When the committee checked in for his or her flights at Heathrow, all Members acquired by means of except for the Member for Bedford, who was delayed for questioning for a substantial interval.

“He was advised it was as a result of his title was Mohammad.”

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Clive Betts, Labour MP for Sheffield South East (David Woolfall/UK Parliament/PA)

Mr Betts added: “He was additionally requested whether or not he was carrying a knife, or different offensive weapon, he was additionally requested the place he was born. The questioning was undertaken by officers from Air Canada and we consider the Canadian authorities, and regardless of him already having been given a visa to enter Canada.

“After proving he was an MP with the assistance of my committee clerk, he was finally allowed by means of.

“At Montreal airport, the identical points had been raised by Canadian immigration.

“On return at Toronto airport on the way in which again, he was once more challenged and acquired on his flight with the help of my consul normal, who was very useful.”

Mr Betts went on: “He has obtained apologies from the parliamentary secretary to the Canadian minister for immigration and Air Canada, nonetheless, given the racist and Islamophobic nature of those challenges, I consider that it’s price writing to the Canadian excessive commissioner, which I’ll do.

“I consider it is very important put these considerations on the parliamentary document. It was fully unacceptable for a Member of this Home to be handled on this means.

“However as a result of he was an MP he was allowed on his flight. If, nonetheless, he had been considered one of our constituents who had been so challenged, he may need been refused.

“We raised the problem with our excessive commissioner in Ottawa, who was very supportive, and amazed at what occurred given the multicultural nature of Canada as an open and welcoming nation.

“She has raised it with the Canadian authorities, and… I might additionally increase it in Parliament to try to be certain that no-one sooner or later is handled on this means.”

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Deputy speaker Sir Roger Gale mentioned the scenario was ‘wholly unacceptable beneath any circumstances’ (Richard Townshend/UK Parliament/PA)

Deputy Speaker Sir Roger Gale replied: “I’m positive that the entire Home will share the dismay on the remedy of the Member for Bedford.

“It’s wholly unacceptable beneath any circumstances.

“However it’s significantly regarding, occurring because it did, in the middle of official journey on parliamentary enterprise.”

Talking outdoors the chamber, Mr Yasin mentioned: “It was worrying and humiliating to be singled out in such an aggressive means by immigration management, particularly when travelling in a gaggle as a consultant of the British Parliament on long-arranged Committee enterprise.

“Whereas I don’t anticipate particular remedy as a Member of Parliament, it does concern me that had I not been an MP, how a lot worse the expertise may need been.”

A spokesman for Air Canada mentioned: “Sadly Mr Yasin was designated for added screening previous to his flight after a safety examine, however he was nonetheless in a position to journey as deliberate as he was rapidly cleared.

“We’re following up internally the dealing with of this explicit matter to make sure procedures had been correctly adopted and we have now additionally been in contact with UK and Canadian authorities.

“We remorse any inconvenience or upset this example could have created for Mr Yasin and have reached out to apologise.”

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