LONDON (AFP) - Controversial French comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala has been banned from entering Britain, the Interior Ministry said on Monday, after he reportedly planned to visit to support Nicolas Anelka over the footballer's use of the "quenelle" gesture.
"We can confirm that Mr Dieudonne is subject to an exclusion order. The Home Secretary will seek to exclude an individual from the UK if she considers that there are public policy or public security reasons to do so," a Home Office spokesman said. “The Home Secretary will seek to exclude an individual from the UK if she considers that there are public policy or public security reasons to do so.”
British media reported last week that Dieudonne was planning to perform a show in Britain and hold a press conference in support of his friend, French international Anelka.
Dieudonne, who has been widely accused of promoting anti-Semitism, already has a string of convictions in France for hate speech and other related offences.
Anelka has been charged by the Football Association, the sport’s governing body in England, after he made the “quenelle” gesture, which was popularised by Dieudonne and is described by critics as anti-Semitic.
The striker from football club West Bromwich Albion made the gesture during a goal celebration after scoring against West Ham during an English Premier League match on Dec 28.
Anelka denies the charge, saying he is neither anti-Semitic nor racist.