SOCIAL workers want to seize a baby as soon as it is born because they are concerned about the mother’s violent links to the English Defence League.
Durham County Council has told Toni McLeod she would pose a “risk of significant harm” to the baby. Social workers fear the child would become radicalised with EDL views and want it put up for adoption immediately.
Mrs McLeod, who is 35 weeks pregnant, is a former leading member of the EDL, in which she was notorious as “English Angel”.
However, her cause has been taken up by Lib Dem MP John Hemming who, despite his loathing for the EDL, raised it in the Commons. He contrasts her treatment with that of the extremist Islamic cleric Abu Qatada, who was allowed to remain with his children when he was briefly remanded on bail earlier this year as the Government tries to deport him.
He said: “It raises a curious question as to why Abu Qatada is allowed to radicalise his children but the state won’t take the chance of allowing Toni McLeod to look after her baby in case she says something social workers won’t like.
“I am very strongly opposed to the EDL, which I believe to be a racist organisation, but I do not think we should remove all of the children of the people who go on their demonstrations, however misguided they may be.”
Mrs McLeod has posted racist abuse on social networking sites but denies being racist. She claims she is no longer active with the EDL and has never been charged with violence against children.
Social workers have told her husband Martyn he would be unable to care for his child because he is a full-time soldier just back from Afghanistan.
Mr Hemming, who chairs the Justice For Families campaign group, said yesterday: “This case is one where the ‘thought police’ have decided to remove her baby at birth because of what she might say to the baby. I wonder what the baby’s father is thinking when he fights for a country which won’t allow him to have a child because of what the child’s mother might say.
“Toni now accepts she was wrong to have gone on EDL demonstrations but freedom of speech means nothing if people are not allowed to say things that are thought to be wrong.”
Mrs McLeod wants to move to Ireland for the birth to avoid England’s social services. Rifleman McLeod, 31, plans to request a transfer to Northern Ireland so he can be with his child.
Durham County Council told Mrs McLeod on Friday her unborn baby was being placed on its child protection register. Last month, a judge ruled that her three other children, should be permanently removed from her care.
The Sunday Express is unable to give details of the judge’s explanation for legal reasons.
They concede she is no longer involved with the EDL but believe she is now involved with a splinter group, the North West Infidels. The social worker’s report states: “Toni clearly needs to break away from the inappropriate friendships she has through either the EDL or break-off group in order that she can model and display appropriate positive relationships to the baby as he/she grows and develops.
“Toni has been a prominent member of the EDL. They claim they are a peaceful group, however, they have strong associations with violence and racism.”
Mr McLeod said: “Toni would never harm a child.”
The council said it was unable to comment.