David Icke permanently suspended from Twitter over COVID-19 misinformation

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2020/09/26: English conspiracy theorist, David Icke addresses the crowds at the We Do Not Consent protest. The demonstration in Trafalgar Square London was against Lockdown, Social Distancing, Track and Trace & wearing of face masks. (Photo by Dave Rushen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Conspiracy theorist David Icke has been banned from Twitter. (Getty Images)

Conspiracy theorist David Icke has been permanently suspended from Twitter for posting misleading information about COVID-19.

The action comes six months after 68-year-old was banned from Facebook and YouTube for controversial unproven claims about the coronavirus pandemic.

A spokesman for Twitter said: “The account referenced has been permanently suspended for violating Twitter's rules regarding COVID misinformation.”

Icke had around 382,000 followers on the social media platform.

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The former footballer and sports broadcaster had shared several false theories about the virus across his social media platforms, including a the discredited claim that COVID-19 was linked to the 5G mobile network, and anti-Semitic remarks about a Jewish group’s involvement.

Countdown presenter Rachel Riley tweeted: “The UK’s foremost hate peddler/conspiracy grifter has finally been chucked off Twitter. About frickin time.”

Icke’s Facebook and YouTube channels were suspended in May.

A spokesperson for YouTube, owned by Google, said at the time: “YouTube has clear policies prohibiting any content that disputes the existence and transmission of COVID-19 as described by the WHO and the NHS.

“Due to continued violation of these policies we have terminated David Icke’s YouTube channel.”

Icke’s Facebook page had more than 770,000 followers on the platform, but a secondary account remains active.

Icke's Instagram page, which has 213,000 followers, is still active.

British 'conspiracy theorist' David Icke, speaks at a gathering of protesters in Trafalgar Square in London on September 26, 2020, at a 'We Do Not Consent!' mass rally against vaccination and government restrictions designed to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus, including the wearing of masks and taking tests for the virus. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
David Icke, speaks at a gathering of anti-mask protesters in London in September 2020. (Getty Images)

A video posted at the weekend at an anti-lockdown rally in Birmingham – which has been viewed over 85,000 times – shows Icke urging the crowd "choose freedom".

In April this year Ofcom ruled that local television service licensee ESTV broke broadcasting rules with a London Live interview featuring Icke.

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The broadcasting watchdog found that views expressed by Icke regarding the coronavirus pandemic could cause "significant harm" to viewers as his views "cast doubt" on the health advice given by governing bodies and health organisations in order to protect the public.

Ofcom declared his "unsubstantiated" remarks went "largely unchallenged" during the 80-minute interview which saw Icke discuss the pandemic with presenter Brian Rose.

David Icke, Hereford United goalkeeper  (Photo by Peter Robinson - PA Images via Getty Images)
David Icke was a Hereford United goalkeeper. (PA Images via Getty Images)

The programme screened a notice during ad breaks saying the views expressed were not necessarily those of the network, however, Ofcom ruled ESTV had a responsibility to ensure viewers were "protected from potential harm" by challenging Icke's views and placing them in context.

Icke famously claimed during a TV interview in 1991 to be “the son of the Godhead”.

He believes in an interdimensional race of shape-shifting reptilians which he says have hijacked the earth by taking the form of members of the establishment and feed off negative energy in order to control people.

Watch: Protesters march through London calling for end to lockdown