Katie Hopkins deported from Australia over quarantine rules

Far-right British commentator Katie Hopkins has been sent home from Australia for bragging about flouting hotel quarantine rules.

Ms Hopkins – who has often drawn anger for racist remarks – had entered the country to star in the reality 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 anger.

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 after local cases of Covid-19 were detected.

The post has since been wiped from her Instagram.

On Monday, the Australian government confirmed it had cancelled her visa, after the TV programme sacked her.

Police said she had been fined A$1,000 (£537; US$737) for not wearing a face mask, and was escorted to the airport to be sent back to the UK.

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

“Personally, I’m very pleased she’ll be leaving,” she told broadcaster ABC.

Ms Hopkins has not commented on her deportation, but on Sunday said she had been “joking” in the video.

The controversial commentator was banned from Twitter last year for breaching its policy on hateful conduct.

Ms Hopkins, a favourite of ex-US President Donald Trump, has called migrants “cockroaches” and described Islam as “repugnant”.

Ms Andrews said the decision to allow Ms Hopkins to enter the country had been made by the New South Wales state government “on the basis of potential benefit to the economy”.

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

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

Australia closed its borders in March 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, preventing many citizens outside the country from returning. The policy has prolonged family separations.

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