Who is Katie Hopkins? Why far-right British commentator is being deported from Australia over quarantine rules
Hopkins, who had entered Australia to star in TV show Big Brother VIP, posted an Instagram video from her hotel room in which she boasted she was breaking Covid hotel quarantine rules
Hopkins had travelled to the country to feature in TV show Big Brother VIP, but caused controversy by bragging about breaking Covid self-isolation rules.
She posted a now-deleted Instagram Live video from her hotel room in Sydney on Friday (16 July), in which she said she was deliberately disobeying quarantine measures by taunting guards and not wearing a mask.
Her comments sparked fury, and on Monday (19 July), the Australian government confirmed her visa had been cancelled.
So, who is Katie Hopkins and why is she going to be deported from Australia?
Here’s everything you need to know.
Who is Katie Hopkins?
Hopkins is infamous in the UK for her far-right commentary.
She has repeatedly caused widespread controversy and outrage after airing many shocking racist, classist and sexist opinions.
The 46 year old media personality and columnist became well-known to the public after appearing on the third season of The Apprentice in 2007.
She also came runner-up in the UK version of Celebrity Big Brother and was loathed by the other contestants for her outspoken attitude.
Hopkins became further notorious for penning her controversial opinions in several newspapers.
But she was fired as a columnist and radio host after comparing migrants to cockroaches and claiming there needed to be a “final solution” to deal with terrorists following the Manchester Arena bombing in May 2017.
Many thought this was a reference to the horrific phrase used by the Nazis for the Holocaust.
And Hopkins became the focus of public outrage once again when a video of her claiming some children’s names were related to class and behaviour on This Morning went viral.
She ranted to host Holly Willougby that she wouldn’t allow her children to mix with those at school who had been given “lower class” names, using Tyler and Daisy as an example - comments which led to her being branded an “insufferable snob”.
With no other public platform, Hopkins then took to Twitter to voice her opinions, but last year she was permanently banned from the social media app for repeatedly breaching its “hateful conduct” policy.
Why is Katie Hopkins going to be deported from Australia?
Hopkins has been staying in a hotel in Sydney to see out her 14-day mandatory quarantine after flying into the country.
She was permitted to travel to Australia to take place in Network Seven’s Big Brother VIP.
But in a video on Instagram, Hopkins told her followers that she had been deliberately trying to break quarantine rules, including opening the door “naked” with “no face mask” on in front of guards.
She also called Covid rules the “greatest hoax in human history”, at the same time as the country’s two biggest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, are both in lockdown.
The post has since been deleted from her account.
Those who arrive in Australia need to quarantine for two weeks in a government-approved hotel and are not allowed to open their door for 30 seconds after meals are delivered. A face mask also needs to be worn when the door is open.
Hopkins’ visa was revoked by the Australian Government on 19 July, meaning she will be deported back to England soon.
Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews called Hopkins’ comments “appalling” and a “slap in the face” for the thousands of Australians in lockdown.
"We will be getting her out of the country as soon as we can possibly arrange that," she told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
She added: "Personally, I'm very pleased she'll be leaving.”
When questioned on why Hopkins was allowed to enter Australia in the first place, Ms Andrews said the decision had been made by New South Wales state government "on the basis of potential benefit to the economy".
However, opponents accused the federal government of permitting a “far right troll” to enter the country.
"The decision… is particularly painful for the 35,000 Australians who remain stranded overseas," said Labor MP Andrew Giles.
Australia has had a closed-border policy in place since the beginning of the pandemic, which has made it difficult for families to see each other and prevented many citizens from going home.
In recent days, the government has halved the number of Australian citizens and permanent residents who can return home to 3,000 per week.
On Sunday (18 July), Hopkins said she was “joking” when making her quarantine comments.
Will she still appear on Big Brother VIP?
Hopkins’ deportation means she will no longer be able to take part in Big Brother VIP.
Seven Network and production company Endemol Shine Australia confirmed on Sunday that the far-right commentator had been fired from the show for her comments.
"Seven Network and Endemol Shine Australia confirm that Katie Hopkins is not part of Big Brother VIP... Seven and Endemol Shine strongly condemn her irresponsible and reckless comments in hotel quarantine,” the companies said.