Controversial British personality David Icke has been blocked from entering Australia, opposition parliamentarians said Wednesday, after the conspiracy theorist was blasted as a Holocaust denier.
Icke, who denies widespread charges of anti-Semitism and believes the world is run by giant shape-shifting reptiles, was due to start a speaking tour in major Australian cities next month.
Opposition Labor MP Tim Watts on Wednesday warned that Icke “could be spouting his vitriol” in Melbourne, home to Australia’s largest Jewish community, within weeks if he were allowed into the country.
“David Icke, a well-known British Holocaust denier, should not be allowed entry into Australia to preach his toxic message,” he told parliament.
Icke’s 1995 book, “And the Truth Shall Set You Free,” focused on a global conspiracy by “Rothschilds and Rockefellers” and contained a chapter questioning aspects of the Holocaust and criticizing society for suppressing “alternative information to the official line of the Second World War.”
Watts later wrote on Facebook that the government had listened and “banned Icke from the country,” describing it as “an important blow against rising anti-Semitism in Australia.”
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation also reported that Icke’s visa had been canceled on “character grounds.”
A former professional soccer player, Icke worked for the BBC as a sports broadcaster before leaving in 1990.
He has since become known as a conspiracy theorist, and has been slammed by anti-discrimination groups, who say he holds dangerous views about the world being secretly controlled by an elite Jewish group and that Jews bankrolled Hitler.
“This was a defining moment for who we are as a nation, and we salute the government for taking a clear-eyed and moral stance in rejecting hate and incitement,” chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission Dvir Abramovich said in a statement.
“Allowing Icke into our country would have crossed red lines and would have sent the message that it is open season on the Jewish community and that vilifying and maligning Australian Jews is ok and normal,” Abramovich said.