Theresa May, the British Home Secretary, is to consider banning the United States pastor Terry Jones from travelling to Britain at the invitation of a far-right organisation to speak on "the evils and destructiveness of Islam".

Jones provoked widespread outrage this year with his plan to burn a pile of Korans outside his church in Gainsville, Florida, and has been invited to address a rally of the English Defence League.

May said, after learning of the invitation to speak in Luton in February, that she will be "actively looking" at whether he should be allowed into the country.

Any decision to deny him entry would be taken on the basis of whether it was regarded as "not conducive to public good" or on the grounds that national security was threatened.

"Pastor Terry Jones has been on my radar for a few months now. This is a case that I will be actively looking at," she said.

The pastor has said he will speak in support of the fight against "the Islamification of England and Europe" but he promised yesterday he would respect Britain's laws and had no intention of provoking a riot.

George Readings, speaking for the Quilliam Foundation, a counter-terrorism think-tank, said English Defence League protests had a "track record of degenerating into violence", adding "This suggests his presence will not be conducive to the public good."

Shami Chakrabarti, director of civil liberties pressure group Liberty, said Jones should stay home.

"The Home Secretary might be forgiven for thinking we have enough nutters of our own."

- INDEPENDENT