The Australian government canceled Katie Hopkins’ visa after the far-right commentator bragged about breaking hotel quarantine conditions.
The cancellation was announced Monday by Home Secretary Karen Andrews and follows a decision by Endemol Shine Australia to cancel its contract to appear on Seven Network’s Big Brother VIP. Hopkins will now have to leave the country.
Hopkins, 46, broadcast a live video of what she claimed to be a hotel room in Sydney on Saturday morning, describing the Covid-19 lockdowns as “the biggest hoax in human history” while joking about elaborate plans to break quarantine rules. In the Instagram video, which is no longer available, she said she was trying to “scare” security guards by answering her hotel door naked and without a mask.
On Monday, Andrews said Hopkins’ behavior was “shameful”, describing him as “a slap in the face for all those Australians currently in detention”.
“It was appalling that she bragged about violating quarantine,” she told ABC News Breakfast.
Andrews confirmed that the Australian Border Force had now canceled her visa, saying it had “acted quickly” to do so.
“We’ll get her out of the country as soon as we can sort this out.” So I hope this will happen imminently.
Andrews sought to dismiss responsibility for Hopkins’ entry into Australia, explaining that although visa issuance is a federal responsibility “she actually entered the country with the support of a state government.”
The minister said state governments are asking the federal government “on a reasonable regular basis” to admit people above hotel quarantine ceilings because “there is an economic benefit” to them coming to Australia.
“So she came here on the basis of a potential benefit to the economy. “
Acting Labor Home Affairs spokesman Andrew Giles rejected the defense – arguing that the federal government had authorized Hopkins’ trip.
Australia’s immigration laws contain broad discretionary powers to deny entry to people whom the government considers to be of bad character. These were used to block the entry of conspiracy theorist David Icke and US whistleblower Chelsea Manning.
During the pandemic, Australia placed strict limits on the number of people allowed to quarantine in hotels. As of July, only 3,070 arrivals are allowed each week, as more than 30,000 Australians are stranded abroad seeking to return home.
When asked if the federal government had granted Hopkins a visa because she was considered to be of good character, Andrews replied that she was “clearly not someone we want to keep in this country an second longer than necessary ”.
Last year, Hopkins saw his Twitter account with 1.1 million subscribers suspended for good for violating the platform’s “hateful conduct” policy.
Hopkins, who has been retweeted several times by former US President Donald Trump, has been removed from his post for “keeping Twitter safe,” according to the social media platform.
She had previously likened migrants to cockroaches and claimed that the photograph of a dead Syrian boy lying on a beach that sparked a wave of compassion across Europe was staged, while saying people with dementia should not “block” hospital beds.
On Saturday, Giles and Labor MP Josh Burns lambasted the Morrison government for allowing Hopkins to enter Australia.
“It never should have happened, and now his behavior is putting people at risk,” Giles said.
Burns said Hopkins “called Islam disgusting, migrants ‘cockroaches’ and called for a ‘final solution’.” “How does she get a visa, let alone a place in quarantine against Australians?” “
Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi described Hopkins’ admission to Australia as a new low as thousands of families remain separated from loved ones abroad.
The production company making Big Brother VIP, Endemol Shine Australia and Channel Seven rushed on Sunday to respond to the growing crisis, which threatened to eclipse the Tokyo Olympics broadcast that begins Friday at Seven.
“Seven Network and Endemol Shine Australia confirm that Katie Hopkins is not a Big Brother VIP,” the network said. “Seven and Endemol Shine strongly condemn his irresponsible and reckless comments in hotel quarantine. “