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Dieudonné barred from Britain by Home Office

Ben McPartland · 3 Feb 2014, 14:29

Published: 03 Feb 2014 14:29 GMT+01:00

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The UK’s Home Office warned on Monday that controversial French comic Dieudonné will not be allowed to enter the country.

A Home Office spokesperson said: "We can confirm that Mr Dieudonné 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."

The controversial comedian, who is accused by critics of being anti-Semitic and a “peddler of hate”, said he had intended to travel to the UK to support his friend, the footballer Nicolas Anelka and perform a gig.

Anelka is facing a ban in the UK for performing the now infamous quenelle salute after scoring a goal. The French footballer said the gesture was made to support Dieudonné.

The comic who created the quenelle insists the salute is anti-establishment whereas critics say it is an ‘inverted Nazi salute’ and blatantly anti-Semitic.

But UK officials have made it clear Dieudonné will not be allowed anywhere near Anelka’s hearing. Anelka denies the charge, saying he is neither anti-Semitic nor racist.

According to The Guardian the Home Office has warned airlines and other transport companies and UK border officials that Dieudonné is on the banned list and they face a fine of up to £10,000 (€12,000) if they allow him to travel.

"The above-named has been excluded from the UK at the direction of the secretary of state on 31 January 2014. Carriers required to provide data to e-Borders will be refused authority to carry him to the UK.  If he travels he will be denied entry at the UK border," the Home Office statement added.

He has been convicted and fined several times for hate speech. After he refused to pay the fines the French government has recently orchestrated a crackdown on the comic.

Story continues below…

He was allowed to perform in Paris recently after he wrote a new show but he refused to condemn those who have performed the quenelle salute outside Holocaust memorials or at a Jewish school where three pupils and a rabbi were gunned down by Islamist gunman Mohamed Merah in March 2012.

Dieudonné was recently banned from performing his shows in France on the grounds that he was a risk to public order.

Last week police officers reportedly found €660,000 in cash when they raided his home.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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