Covid 19 coronavirus: Katie Hopkins axed from Big Brother after possible hotel quarantine breach

Far-right commentator Katie Hopkins has been axed from her upcoming role on Big Brother VIP.

Hopkins arrived in Australia last week on a “critical skills” visa and was widely reported to be joining the next season of Big Brother.

But she has attracted criticism for her hotel quarantine antics since arriving in NSW and has now lost her job.

The Seven Network and Endemol Shine Australia issued a statement on Sunday afternoon.

“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,” it said.

Hopkins courted controversy in 2019 when she criticised Jacinda Ardern after the PM wore a hijab in the wake of the Christchurch mosque attacks.

Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said earlier on Sunday that she had asked Australian Border Force to investigate whether Hopkins breached any hotel quarantine rules.

“It is despicable that anyone would behave in such a way that puts our health officials and community at risk,” Andrews said.

“I have directed Australian Border Force to immediately consider the facts of this matter and urgently review whether this individual is complying with the requirements of her visa.”

A Home Affairs spokeswoman also told news.com.au that Hopkins did not take the place of Australians wanting to return home.

“These travel exemptions were approved based on support by the NSW Government as they met the critical skills category for inwards travel,” she said.

“These travellers did not take the place of returning Australians as their travel was above the hotel quarantine caps.”

Since the news of her arrival circulated, many Australians and ex-pats questioned how Hopkins was allowed to enter the country, given cuts to the number of overseas Australians allowed to return home.

Hopkins had her Twitter account permanently suspended in June last year for violating the social media giant’s ‘hateful conduct’ policy, she was also detained in South Africa in March 2018 for allegedly spreading racial hatred.

Among her rants she has likened Covid-19 to the flu, compared migrants to cockroaches and said people with dementia should not block hospital beds.

Since it was revealed she was in Australia a petition calling for her removal from the country has been created.

In less than 24 hours, over 22,000 people have signed a new Change.org petition calling for Hopkins to return to the UK.

News.com.au asked Channel Seven whether Hopkins was still slated to appear on Big Brother VIP, whether the network is paying for her stay in hotel quarantine and whether the network thought it was responsible to have Hopkins on air.

The network’s external public relations co-ordinator Shoebridge Knowles Media Group director Neil Shoebridge refused to address the questions on Sunday morning.

“We are not commenting on speculation about the cast of Big Brother VIP,” he said.

Victorian MP Andre Giles was one of the first to take aim at the government for allowing Ms Hopkins into the country.

“Now that Ms Hopkins is in Australia, she has begun broadcasting from what she described as “VIP quarantine”, and has explained how she is opening up her hotel door naked without a face mask in a deliberate attempt to breach hotel quarantine security,” he said.

“This is grossly disrespectful to frontline workers who are only trying to keep up safe.”

Her arrival comes just weeks after the Federal Government announced a reduction in the number of overseas travellers arriving to Australia.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison slashed the numbers to reduce pressure on quarantine facilities amid the Delta variant outbreak.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce made it clear that if Hopkins broke the rules of hotel quarantine he would not be fazed in kicking her out of the country.

“I’m the one who wanted to send home Johnny Depp’s dog so I have no problem sending home someone who wants to flout our laws. If you want to do that, pack your bongo and get out of the country,” he told the ABC.

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