Britain has detained and deported three online far-right personalities after they attempted to enter the country, on the grounds that they were “not conducive to the public good,” the Home Office said Tuesday.
Austrian Martin Sellner, leader of far-right group Generation Identity, his girlfriend Brittany Pettibone, an American YouTuber, and Canadian YouTube personality Lauren Southern were refused entry into the UK in recent days.
In a statement to CNN, a Home Office spokesperson said: “Border Force has the power to refuse entry to an individual if it is considered that his or her presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good.”
Last week, Sellner and Pettibone announced in a YouTube video posted on Twitter that they were planning to speak at “Speakers’ Corner” in London’s Hyde Park on Sunday, March 11. Instead, they were detained at Luton Airport on Friday and removed from the UK on Sunday, according to the Home Office.
Upon their return to Austria, Pettibone claimed on Twitter that she was detained because she intended to interview British far-right activist and former spokesman and leader of the English Defence League (EDL) Tommy Robinson.
The Home Office made no mention of Robinson in its statement to CNN.
On Monday morning, Southern, who has more than 460,000 subscribers on YouTube, was refused entry to the UK by Border Force in Coquelles, near Calais, northern France, the Home Office said.
She claimed on Twitter that she was “officially banned from UK for ‘racism’” but was doing fine because “all the cool people are being banned anyway.”
Last summer, Sellner led his group’s efforts to stop what they described as an “invasion” of Europe by refugees by deploying a C-Star vessel to the Mediterranean Sea.
The anti-immigrant “Defend Europe” program was aimed at intercepting humanitarian ships in the Mediterranean to prevent refugees from coming to Europe.
It quickly ran into trouble, with the C-Star being held up in Egypt and Cyprus and its crew accused of people smuggling. They were later released for lack of evidence.
In August, a boat belonging to organization Sea-Eye, a charity that rescues migrants, was called upon to help the C-Star after it suffered a mechanical failure.