Katie Hopkins has been deported from Australia
The right-wing pundit was due to star in Australia’s Big Brother VIP
Far-right commentator Katie Hopkins has been deported from Australia after making “shameful” jokes about plans to breach hotel quarantine rules.
In a live video from her Sydney hotel room, the former reality TV star claimed she was trying to “frighten” security guards by “answering her hotel door naked and maskless”, reports The Guardian.
In the video, broadcast on Instagram on Friday, Hopkins suggested measures to curb the pandemic were a hoax.
“You are living through the greatest hoax in human history,” she said, “they are trying to take everything from you, and one of the very best and most powerful weapons we have is a sense of humour, and someone like me is probably a massive thorn in their sides,” the Daily Mirror reports.
Australian home affairs secretary Karen Andrews said Hopkins’ behaviour was “shameful”, and described it as “a slap in the face for all those Australians who are currently in lockdown”.
“The fact that she was out there boasting about breaching quarantine was appalling,” she told ABC show News Breakfast.
Sydney and Melbourne are both under lockdown as the cities contend with a Delta variant outbreak.
Arrivals in Australia must quarantine for two weeks in a government-mandated hotel. Food is delivered to hotel rooms, but guests “are not allowed to open their door for 30 seconds after meals are delivered”, and must wear a face mask “when a door is open”, explains Sky News. On Monday, the Australian government confirmed Hopkins’ visa had been cancelled after she was sacked from Seven Network’s Big Brother VIP, the reality show she was due to appear on. Australia’s border is currently closed to non-residents, but Hopkins was given a travel exemption to take part in the show.
New South Wales police said in a statement that she had been fined AU$1,000 (£536) for allegedly failing to wear a mask and that officers had assisted immigration authorities to deport her on Monday afternoon.
Andrews was questioned by reporters over the decision to allow Hopkins into the country after the opposition accused the government of “allowing a far-right troll into Australia”, reports the BBC.
The news organisation describes Hopkins as “a favourite of Donald Trump” and notes she was banned from Twitter last year for repeatedly breaching the platform’s hateful conduct policy by describing migrants as “cockroaches” and those who follow Islam as “repugnant”.
The home affairs secretary said the decision had been made by the New South Wales state government on the basis of “potential benefit to the economy”. But her arrival sparked particular criticism after the country’s government halved the number of Australian citizens who could return home to just 3,000 a week, with estimates suggesting tens of thousands of Australians remain stranded overseas. Brad Hazzard, the health minister for New South Wales, told reporters: “To think that she could think that the measures we are taking to keep our community safe can be treated with such juvenile, imbecile behaviour is mind boggling.”