03/02/2014 08:43 GMT | Updated 03/02/2014 08:59 GMT

'Anti-Semitic' Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, Creator Of Quenelle, Banned From The UK

The French comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, who is at the centre of the Nicolas Anelka anti-semitism row, has been banned from entering the UK, the Home Office said.

Dieudonne had announced he would visit London to support the West Bromwich Albion footballer, who faces a ban for performing the comic's "quenelle" salute on the pitch, which is believed by some to be an anti-semitic gesture.

The Football Association charged Anelka over the pose, struck after scoring against West Ham on December 28, and he faces a minimum five-match ban if found guilty. Anelka has denied the charge and requested a personal hearing.


Controversial French comic Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala, known as Dieudonne

Dieudonne, who has been prosecuted for inciting racial hatred through anti-Semitic jokes and comments, is credited with creating the quenelle, a hand and arm movement alleged by some to be a reverse Nazi salute.

The 47-year-old comedian, who has previously said the gesture is anti-establishment, had several shows banned in France last month amid fears his portrayal of Jews and mocking of the Holocaust were a risk to public order.

He rewrote the shows, dropping much of the material deemed offensive but fans hit out at the French government for attacking free speech and censorship.

Anelka has also previously said his salute, which he described as a ''dedication'' to Dieudonne, was aimed at the French establishment. The player has insisted he is not anti-Semitic or racist.

Dieudonne has previously performed dressed as a rabbi, giving Nazi salutes and shouting "Isra-heil!". He has previously invited Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson to join him onstage at a gig in Paris, and presenting him with a "prize for unfrequentability and insolence" by a man dressed in striped concentration camp pyjamas.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: "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."