Amsterdam city council has denied that the late mayor Eberhard van der Laan was involved in a 'secret' campaign to stop the city's Muslim youth becoming radicalised.

The idea for the campaign, drawn up by city anti-radicalisation advisor David Kenning, was 'never more than a plan', acting mayor Eric van der Burg said in a letter to the council ahead of Thursday's debate on the issue.

Van der Burg was responding to councillors' demands for an update, following media reports about the scheme, which led to the dismissal of a close aide of the mayor. This weekend, Elsevier magazine and the Parool newspaper published claims that Van der Laan had commissioned a secret 'grey campaign' featuring an actor posing as a young Muslim man who published vlogs about his struggles.

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