Downing Street has described Jimmy Carr's joke about the Holocaust as "deeply disturbing" but said it is a matter for Netflix if the comedian's show should remain on the streaming service.

Carr, known for his stand-up and hosting roles on shows like 8 Out Of 10 Cats, prompted criticism after a clip from his one-hour Netflix special, His Dark Material, was shared widely on social media.

In it, the comedian jokes about the horror of the Holocaust and "six million Jewish lives being lost" before making a disparaging remark about the deaths of thousands of Gypsies at the hands of the Nazis as part of the punchline.

In response, an official spokesman for Boris Johnson said: "Those comments are deeply disturbing and it’s unacceptable to make light of genocide."

He added: "The government is toughening measures for social media and streaming platforms who don’t tackle harmful content".

Asked whether Netflix should pull the show, the spokesman said: "That will be a matter for them. We are clear that mocking the atrocities of the Holocaust is unacceptable."

Anti-hate groups such as the not-for-profit organisation Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and The Auschwitz Memorial have condemned the comedian for the joke.

The Traveller Movement, a charity supporting the traveller community in the UK, has also launched a petition calling for Netflix to remove the segment of the programme "which celebrates the Romani genocide".

It said the joke in question was "truly disturbing and goes way beyond humour".

Carr issues a "trigger warning" to the audience at the beginning of his Netflix special and tells viewers it contains "terrible things".

Netflix declined to comment.

Source: Press Association