The Australian government has said it will be sending Katie Hopkins back to the UK as soon as logistically possible after the TV personality claimed to have breached lockdown rules, sparking backlash and calls for deportation.
Hopkins, who had already been booted from the upcoming season of Australia’s ‘Big Brother VIP’ show for allegedly breaching Sydney’s strict quarantine rules, will be getting home in no time, according to Australian Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews.
In an interview with ABC News Breakfast’s Michael Rowland on Sunday, Andrews confirmed that the Australian Border Force, tasked with investigating Hopkins’ alleged transgressions, “acted quickly” and canceled the British provocateur’s visa, making her deportation imminent.
“We’ll be getting her out of the country as soon as we possibly can arrange that so I’m hopeful that will happen imminently,” Andrews said.
The minister called Hopkins’ behavior in Sydney’s quarantine hotel “just shameful” and “a slap in the face for all Australians who are currently in lockdown.”
Asked about why the controversial television personality was able to enter the country in the first place when tens of thousands of Australians are stranded overseas due to the pandemic entry caps imposed by Canberra, Andrews said the federal government made an exception for Hopkins because of the potential “economic benefit” she can bring to the state.
“She actually came into the country with the support of the state government,” Andrews said, dodging questions about whether Hopkins’ character should have been a disqualifying factor when deciding on the request.
Hopkins’ arrival in Sydney on Saturday made a big splash across Australian media after she mocked the city’s strict quarantine code by bragging on Instagram that she would open her hotel door naked and maskless to spook hotel employees bringing her food. Before what many saw as a tasteless prank cost her the visa, it had already cost her a spot in Australia’s edition of ‘Celebrity Big Brother’. A petition to deport Hopkins without delay has racked up over 30,000 signatures.
While Hopkins is preparing to fly back to the UK, another foreign celebrity – American reality TV star and California Republican gubernatorial hopeful Caitlyn Jenner – is poised to take part in the filming of the show. Although she flew into Sydney earlier this week without causing as much fanfare as Hopkins, Jenner courted controversy in Australia and in the US as well, with observers panning her for caring more about her reality TV career than her constituents.
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