Today host Allison Langdon has come out swinging against the Federal Government for allowing far-right British commentator Katie Hopkins into the country.
Hopkins, 46, who recently flew to Sydney on a ‘critical skills’ visa ahead of her appearance on Seven’s all-star season of Big Brother, had her visa revoked on Monday after she posted a video claiming she planned to deliberately flout restrictions while staying in hotel quarantine.
Hopkins had been allowed into the country above the quarantine cap with the support of the NSW State Government, on the basis that she would provide some sort of ‘economic benefit’ to the country.
‘It’s not good enough, is it?’ Today host Allison Langdon (left) came out swinging against the Federal Government on Monday for allowing far-right British commentator Katie Hopkins (right) into the country when thousands of Aussies are desperately trying to return home amid the global pandemic
Speaking to Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews on Mondays’ Today show, Langdon questioned why Hopkins was ever granted entry into the country in the first place, pointing out how poorly the decision reflects upon the Australian government.
‘The optics of this is really bad. When you just halved the number of international arrivals into this country you still have families separated, you have tens of thousands Aussies stuck overseas who can’t afford a flight home,’ Langdon said.
‘I read over the weekend one of many story, a woman about to undergo breast cancer treatment, her husband, because he is not Australian, can’t get into the country and then we see this woman arrive here,’ she continued.
‘The optics of this is really bad’: Speaking to Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews (right) on Mondays’ Today show, Langdon (left) questioned why Hopkins was ever granted entry into the country in the first place, pointing out how poorly the decision reflects upon the Australian government
‘It’s not good enough, is it?’ she concluded.
Responding to Langdon, Ms Andrews acknowledged that many Australians were outraged Hopkins had received a spot in hotel quarantine.
‘I think we should have been looking to increase our hotel quarantine caps back to where they were and potentially beyond as soon as possible, because there are many Australians who want to come home,’ Ms Andrews said.
‘Just because you don’t believe it, that’s not fair to the person you’re doing that to’: KIIS FM’s Kyle Sandilands and Jackie ‘O’ Henderson (left) condemned Hopkins’ (right) behaviour during their breakfast radio show on Monday
Katie Hopkins’ Australian was revoked on Monday, hours after Channel Seven ripped up her Celebrity Big Brother contract for ‘joking’ about breaking quarantine rules.
Hopkins had uploaded an Instagram Live video from what she claimed was a Sydney hotel room on Saturday during her mandatory 14-day quarantine, and described Covid lockdowns as ‘the greatest hoax in human history’ and joked about breaching restrictions.
‘I’m very pleased she’ll be leaving’: Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews described Hopkins’ comments as ‘shameful’ in an interview with ABC News Breakfast on Monday
Meanwhile, KIIS FM’s Kyle Sandilands and Jackie ‘O’ Henderson condemned Hopkins’ behaviour during their breakfast radio show on Monday.
‘Just because she doesn’t believe that the lockdown are required… a lot of people don’t, some people do, some people don’t… You can’t just break the rules,’ Sandilands said.
Henderson added: ‘And just because you don’t believe it, that’s not fair to the person you’re doing that to.’
She later continued: ‘It’s just not fair, because the person who she does that to, they will probably have to go into a 14-day lockdown.’
Meanwhile, Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews described Hopkins’ comments as ‘shameful’ in an interview with ABC News Breakfast on Monday.
‘The fact that she was out there boasting about breaching quarantine was just appealing. It was a slap in the face for all those Australians who are currently in lockdown,’ Ms Andrews said.
‘They knew that is what she would bring to the Big Brother house’: Appearing on The Sunday Project, Jan Fran (pictured) said Channel Seven was courting controversy – and it has spectacularly backfired
‘And it’s just unacceptable behaviour, so personally I’m very pleased she’ll be leaving.’
Ms Andrews confirmed Hopkins would be deported ‘imminently’.
The news comes after Hopkins was officially dumped from the upcoming Australian series of Celebrity Big Brother.
A network spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia on Sunday: ‘Seven Network and Endemol Shine Australia confirm that Katie Hopkins is not part of Big Brother VIP.
Comments: ‘Don’t you think this is what Channel Seven wanted? It cost them, how much is an economy ticket from the UK, $150,000?’ Lisa Wilkinson (pictured) chimed in, joking. ‘That’s all it’s cost them which is cheaper than a marketing budget’
‘Seven and Endemol Shine strongly condemn her irresponsible and reckless comments in hotel quarantine.’
On Sunday, the hosts of The Project slammed Seven for its decision to hire Hopkins.
Jan Fran, a comedian and regular panelist on the show, said: ‘What was someone expecting when they did hire Katie Hopkins to do this? She’s a troll. She courts controversy. They knew that is what she would bring to the Big Brother house.’
‘It’s telling she changed her mind because she’s flouted COVID restrictions, not because of the heinous things that she’s been saying for years and years.’
At 5am Saturday Hopkins posted an Instagram story describing ‘a game’ where she answers her hotel quarantine room door naked and without a mask
Fran went on to express disgust over Hopkins’ use of the term ‘Final Solution’, which is used to refer to the mass murder of Europe’s Jews during the Holocaust.
WHO IS KATIE HOPKINS?
Katie Hopkins is a well-known media personality and commentator in the UK.
The 46-year-old mum-of-two rose to fame on The Apprentice in 2007 and soon became an outspoken household name, writing in several newspapers.
She came runner-up in the UK’s Celebrity Big Brother, becoming popular among some for her no-nonsense attitude, and loathed by others for her controversial comments.
Hopkins is known for her contentious views on race, sex, class, obesity and migration.
She once had a popular radio show on UK station LBC, but stepped away after writing on Twitter that a ‘final solution’ was needed to deal with terrorists. Many thought this was a reference to the Holocaust.
She was permanently banned from Twitter in June 2020.
Her co-host Peter van Onselen agreed: ‘They want controversy but maybe didn’t think it would lead as far as this.
‘She will go back to the UK and complain about us and build her brand locally off what we’ve done even though what we’ve done is the right thing.’
‘Don’t you think this is what Channel Seven wanted? It cost them, how much is an economy ticket from the UK, $150,000?’ Lisa Wilkinson chimed in, joking.
‘That’s all it’s cost them which is cheaper than a marketing budget’.
At 5am on Saturday, Hopkins took to Instagram live to post a speech where she ‘called out’ the lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne.
During the video, Hopkins openly mocked the 14-day hotel quarantine rules revealing she planned to deliberately break them by opening her door completely naked and mask-free to workers who deliver her food.
‘The police officer who checked me in told me, when they knock on my door I have to wait 30 seconds until I can open the door,’ she says while breaking out into hysterics. ‘I can open the door but I can only do it in a face mask.’
However, on Sunday, Hopkins denied she broke quarantine rules in Sydney, writing on Instagram.
‘WARNING: EXTREME HUMOUR. I have never broken quarantine,’ she wrote in her caption.
‘My whole heart goes out to Australians and this brilliant country known for sense of humour. Families MUST be reunited.
‘Auzzies [sic] need the dignity of work and lockdown is the Greatest Hoax in Human History. Do not give up my darlings. Bring Australians home,’ she added.
Australia’s response to Covid-19 has been praised by scientists including top US medic Dr Anthony Fauci, who called the country a world leader on ‘containment and management of emerging variants’.
The country, which is geographically isolated from the European and American epidemics and enjoys a low population density like New Zealand, has imposed tougher border measures than most, including the UK – and imposed snap lockdowns to reduce community transmission.
Dumped: A Seven Network spokesperson announced on Sunday, ‘Seven and Endemol Shine Australia confirm that Hopkins is not part of Big Brother VIP’
While Hopkins laughed off Australia’s Covid lockdown restrictions and quarantine rules, the mother-of-three claimed in 2017 that she isn’t ‘anti-vaccine’, saying all her children were up to date with their flu-jabs.
Despite her amusement at her own antics, which she described as ‘a game’, other travellers stuck in hotel quarantine were outraged by her behaviour.
Posting to the closed Facebook group ‘Australians in quarantine facilities’ one user wrote: ‘This is abhorrent…some people are racing against time with the quarantine trying to get to family members. This is really cruel and sick.’
Members of the closed group ‘Australians in quarantine facilities’ vent their outrage
Questioned: Many travellers in quarantine questioned why Hopkins was allowed to fly into the country while Australians are stranded overseas
’Anyone else who has just returned home like me, too ashamed to admit how ashamed I am of my own country right now?’ wrote another traveller.
‘What has happened to Aussie spirit, our heart, mates looking after mates, the Govt caring about its own people. Has it been lost over the last few years?
‘…It makes my blood boil that so many fellow Aussies are stranded and cannot get home yet we can waste seats and hotel rooms on actors etc.’
Another person said: ‘We’ll not get in to why it was deemed necessary for her to enter the country, when an Australian citizen could have had her quarantine space.’
Hopkins often makes posts mocking mask mandates and lockdowns on Instagram since being banned from Twitter in June last year for ‘hateful conduct’
However, a Home Affairs spokeswoman told news.com.au that Ms Hopkins did not take the place of Australians desperate to return to their home country.
‘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.’
Hopkins’ entry to Australia had even drawn the attention and criticism of MP’s.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said on ABC’s Insiders: ‘I’m the one who wanted to send home Johnny Depp’s dogs home 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.’
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said on ABC’s Insiders: ‘I’m the one who wanted to send home Johnny Depp’s dogs home so I have no problem sending home someone who wants to flout our laws’
Acting Shadow Minister for Home Affairs Andrew Giles openly criticised the Prime Minister’s decision to provide her with a visa into the country.
‘Now that Ms Hopkins is in Australia, she has begun broadcasting from what described as ‘VIP Quarantine’, and has explained how she is opening up her hotel door naked and without a face mask in a deliberate attempt to breach hotel quarantine rules.’ Mr Giles said.
‘This is grossly disrespectful to frontline workers who are only trying to keep us safe.’
Suspended: Hopkins’ Twitter account was suspended in June last year after violating the platform’s policy on ‘hateful conduct’
Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews also earlier said on Sunday that she had personally asked Australian Border Force to investigate whether or not Hopkins had 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,’ Ms 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.’
Controversial: In a video uploaded to the social media platform on Friday, filmed from her hotel quarantine, Ms Hopkins described the lockdown as ‘the greatest hoax in history’
Hopkins often takes to Instagram to publish a myriad of posts mocking lockdowns and mask mandates.
In a video uploaded to the social media platform on Friday, filmed from her hotel quarantine, Ms Hopkins described lockdowns as ‘the greatest hoax in history’.
‘You are living through the greatest hoax in human history, they are trying to take everything from you, and one of the very best and most powerful weapons we have is a sense of humour, and someone like me is probably a massive thorn in their sides,’ she said.
While Hopkins is yet to speak out about being axed from Celebrity Big Brother Australia, she shared a bizarre video on Instagram mocking the COVID-19 crisis.
‘This is important – we’ve just heard that there’s been a new variant, Delta plus, and you have to be very, very afraid of it,’ she said, adding that ‘VIPs’ didn’t need to worry but ‘if you’re a pleb like me, you must be very afraid’.
She then lifted up a sanitary towel in the air, she offensively added: ‘all politicians are about as useful as a tampon on a tranny.’
Outspoken: ‘In terms of hypocrisy I see that- with politicians locking people down – but I’ve never been an advocate for that,’ she said in the video