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Katie Hopkins to be deported from Australia over quarantine rules

Controversial British commentator Katie Hopkins will be deported from Australia for bragging about flouting hotel quarantine rules, says the government.

Ms Hopkins – who has often drawn anger for racist remarks – had entered the country to star in TV show Big Brother Australia.

On Friday she posted a video from her Sydney hotel room where she joked about putting frontline staff at risk.

Her comments sparked widespread condemnation.

In the video, Ms Hopkins said she planned to “lie in wait” for workers to deliver food to her room so she could open the door “naked with no face mask”.

She also called lockdowns the “greatest hoax in human history”. Australia’s two biggest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, are both in lockdown.

The post has since been wiped from her Instagram.

On Monday, the Australian government confirmed her visa had been cancelled, after she was also sacked from the reality show.

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Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews called Ms Hopkins’ comments “appalling” and a “slap in the face” for Australians in lockdown.

“We will be getting her out of the country as soon as we can possible arrange that,” the minister told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

“Personally, I’m very pleased she’ll be leaving,” she said.

Ms Hopkins has not commented on her deportation, but on Sunday said she was “joking” in her quarantine remarks.

Seven Network and production company Endemol Shine Australia said Ms Hopkins had been fired for those comments, but did not respond to criticism of her hiring in the first place.

Ms Hopkins was last year banned from Twitter for repeatedly breaching the platform’s hateful conduct policy.

The right-wing commentator, a favourite of ex-US President Donald Trump, has called migrants “cockroaches” and described Islam as “repugnant”.

When questioned on Ms Hopkins’ entry, Ms Andrews said the decision had been made by New South Wales state government “on the basis of potential benefit to the economy”.

But opponents accused the federal government of “allowing a far-right troll into Australia”, noting Ms Hopkins had also been detained in South Africa in 2018 for spreading racial hate.

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“The decision… is particularly painful for the 35,000 Australians who remain stranded overseas,” said Labor MP Andrew Giles.

Australia’s closed-border policy since March 2020 has prolonged family separations and prevented many citizens from returning.

But dozens of celebrities, sportspeople and others with exemptions have been able to bypass the rule.

www.bbc.co.uk

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