Controverial French humorist Dieudonné M'bala M'balaReuters

The British Home Office has banned controversial French comedian Dieudonné from entering the country after several of his shows were cancelled in France.

Dieudonné, who created the anti-Semitic quenelle, previously announced he would come to London to support West Bromwich Albion striker Nicholas Anelka who faces a ban for performing the signature gesture, described by his critics as an inverted Nazi salute.

A Home Office spokeswoman 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 47-year-old has been declared as persona non grata and warned that he will not be allowed in the country.

The report on Dieudonné's ban in the UK was leaked to the Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger, which cited a document sent by British immigration officials to the airlines flying to the UK.

The letter reads: "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. He is not eligible for carriage. If he travels he will be denied entry at the UK border."

Anelka, who announced he will contest the charge imposed upon him by the Football Association following his controversial goal celebration against West Ham United in December, has claimed the quenelle is not anti-Semitic.

He denied the quenelle is offensive and is instead anti-establishment.

Dieudonné, whose full name is Dieudonné M'bala M'bala, has six convictions for hate against Jews and has to pay €65,000 (£53,000) in related fines.

Earlier this month, the 47-year-old comic was prevented from performing his show, entitled The Wall, in the city of Nantes by France's top court.

The Council of State upheld the ban, despite a previous ruling from a court in Nantes that The Wall did not have "an attack on human dignity as its main object".

On anti-Semitic sites and social networking forums, users have posted pictures of themselves performing the quenelle in front of Jewish sites and Nazi concentration camps.

In September, two French soldiers were disciplined for performing the quenelle in front of a synagogue and posting the picture online.

It was also performed in front of Auschwitz and in front of the Jewish school in Toulouse where three children and a teacher were murdered in 2012.

The son of a Cameroonian father and a Breton mother, Dieudonné remains very popular in France, especially among the young and migrant communities. His shows are often sold out.

The quenelle gesture has been emulated by scores of people from Anelka and NBA star Tony Parker to the founder of France's far-right National Front party, Jean-Marie Le Pen.

Anelka performs the controversial 'quenelle' gesture after scoring against West Ham on December 28, 2013. (Canal Plus Sport)
Anelka performs the controversial 'quenelle' gesture after scoring against West Ham on December 28, 2013. (Canal Plus Sport)