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UK slaps visa ban on dating guru

By Ryan Hooper

An American 'pick-up artist' who offered sexist and violent tips on how to attract women has been barred from the UK.

Self-styled 'dating guru' Julien Blanc was forced to apologise this week after he was accused of inciting violence with a string of "utterly abhorrent" comments, but had planned to bring his seminars to the UK later this month.

It triggered a petition signed by more than 150,000 people calling for the 26-year-old to have his visa application declined. The Home Office said it does not comment on individual cases, but Home Office minister Lynne Featherstone, who lobbied Home Secretary Theresa May to ban Mr Blanc, confirmed the decision.

She said: "Julien Blanc's presence in the UK could have led to an increase in sexual violence and harassment. I am delighted he won't be coming to our shores."

Mr Blanc has attracted a flurry of criticism for his advice on how to attract women. It included several posts on social media which show Mr Blanc clasping his hands around women's throats, while he has also been filmed grabbing women and forcing them towards his crotch.

Sarah Green, spokeswoman for the End Violence Against Women Coalition, said: "Julien Blanc's so-called pick-up coaching promotes behaviour amounting to sexual harassment and sexual assault which is why we welcome the decision to deny him a visa."

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