LONDON (REUTERS) - Britain on Wednesday barred a self-styled US dating coach from entering the country to conduct seminars on how to attract women after heavy criticism from campaigners who said his methods amounted to physical and emotional abuse.
Julien Blanc had been due to hold events in Britain as part of a global tour promoting a "boot camp" on how to pick up women, but nearly 160,000 people signed an online petition calling for him to be denied a visa.
"Do not associate the UK with a man who chokes women around the world as part of his pick-up game," the petition said, referring to one of the techniques Blanc appears to promote in YouTube videos and via his website.
No comment from Blanc was immediately available but in an interview with US television channel CNN earlier this week, he apologised for any offence he had caused.
"I 100 per cent take responsibility and I apologise 100 per cent for it. I'm extremely sorry. I'm not going to be happy to feel like the most hated man in the world," he said when asked about the techniques in his videos, which he denied depicted choking.
Political pressure won out on Wednesday when Lynne Featherstone, a minister in the government department with responsibility for visa applications, said she was glad Blanc would not be coming to Britain.
"I am delighted that Mr Blanc won't be coming to our shores," she said in a statement.
"(His) presence in the UK could have led to an increase in sexual violence and harassment."
A Home Office (interior ministry) spokesman said the department could not comment on individual cases.
Blanc had to leave Australia earlier this month after the country revoked his visa, saying he was promoting abuse that was derogatory to women.