4 Feb 2014

Britain bans French comedian

11:55 am on 4 February 2014

Britain has banned controversial French comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala from entering the country.

French comic Dieudonne M'bala M'bala.

French comic Dieudonne M'bala M'bala. Photo: AFP

The comedian had said he intended to visit Britain in support of premier league footballer Nicolas Anelka.

Anelka faces disciplinary action after performing a gesture used by Dieudonne, known as the "quenelle", which is widely considered anti-semitic, the BBC reported.

The "quenelle" involves touching or gripping your shoulder with one hand while holding the palm of your other hand outstretched and pointing to the ground. Some describe it as a combination of the bras d'honneur with a bent arm (which means "up yours") and the Nazi salute.

The Home Office said it banned individuals if there were "public policy or public security reasons".

Anelka, 34, has been charged by the Football Association for performing the gesture after scoring against West Ham United in December.

He faces a minimum five-match ban if found guilty of an "abusive" sign.

However, the striker denies the FA charge and has requested a personal hearing.

Anelka claimed his action was designed purely as a show of support for Dieudonne and suggested the salute could be perceived as "anti-establishment", rather than discriminatory, the BBC said.

Dieudonne has been convicted six times of hate speech against Jews.