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Anger as Katie Hopkins posts video reportedly from Australian lockdown while thousands stranded overseas | Katie Hopkins

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Australian politicians have expressed their anger after British rightwing commentator Katie Hopkins posted a video claiming she is in hotel quarantine in Sydney while tens of thousands of Australians are stranded overseas and unable to return home due to reduced flight caps.

The limit on the number of international arrivals coming into Australia via commercial flights was halved from 14 July over concerns from some state premiers about the infectiousness of the Delta variant of Covid-19.

The reduced cap meant Australia’s weekly state and territory intake was reduced from the previous cap of 6,370 (which included an extra 300 spots for vulnerable people to return via Brisbane) to 3,070. While the reduction is due to be reviewed by 31 August, Australian prime minister Scott Morrison has indicated it will be in place until at least the end of the year.

Hopkins, 46, broadcast a video of her live from what she claimed was a Sydney hotel room on Saturday morning, describing Covid-19 lockdowns as “the greatest hoax in human history” while joking about elaborate plans to breach quarantine rules.

Hopkins used the 28-minute video, which was originally broadcast live on Instagram and then uploaded on YouTube, to criticise the New South Wales premier, Gladys Berejiklian, and her Victorian counterpart, Daniel Andrews, including by repeatedly insulting their appearance and using Australian accents.

She then railed against “the bastards”, seemingly a reference to governments everywhere who implement tough measures to combat Covid-19.

“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.”

Hopkins made no reference in the video, or an earlier one posted on Friday morning, as to why she is in Australia, saying she could not share how she got into the country but claimed it was not because she is a “VIP”.

It is unclear if Hopkins is in fact in Australia, and her reasons for travel. She has previously appeared on UK Celebrity Big Brother, and it was speculated she is set to appear on an Australian version of the program. The show is set to be broadcast later this year, reportedly with other international contestants such as Caitlyn Jenner and Neil Patrick Harris.

Her apparent presence in Australia was met with anger online, with federal Labor MPs Andrew Giles and Josh Burns demanding answers about how she had been allowed to enter the country.

My media release on the appalling decisions of the Morrison government to let right-wing troll Katie Hopkins into the country.

This should never have happened, and now her behaviour is putting people at risk.

Mr Morrison must take responsibility – and fix this now. pic.twitter.com/jp6Um2NviE

— Andrew Giles MP (@andrewjgiles) July 17, 2021

Why on earth have you let Katie Hopkins into Australia @ScottMorrisonMP @karenandrewsmp?

This is a woman who called Islam disgusting, migrants “cockroaches” and called for a “final solution”. How does she get a visa, let alone a spot in quarantine over Australians?#auspol

— Josh Burns (@joshburnsmp) July 17, 2021

The Greens senator Mehreen Faruqi described Hopkins’ admission to Australia as a new low while thousands of families remain separated from their loved ones overseas.

“It says a lot about our priorities that Katie Hopkins can be permitted to come here and spew her vitriol during a pandemic,” Faruqi said. “It’s as breathtaking as it is soul-crushing.

“What’s worse, Hopkins is making a mockery of our hotel quarantine system by openly flouting the rules and bragging about it on social media. This is just rage-inducing stuff from start to finish.”

Last year, Hopkins had her Twitter account with 1.1m followers permanently suspended for violating the platform’s “hateful conduct” policy.

Hopkins, who was repeatedly retweeted by former US president Donald Trump, was removed to “keep Twitter safe”, according to the social media platform.

Hopkins previously compared migrants to cockroaches and claimed the photograph of a dead Syrian boy lying on a beach that sparked a wave of compassion across Europe was staged, as well as stating that people with dementia should not “block” hospital beds.

At the time of her ban she had been criticising the Black Lives Matter movement as well as the UK government’s decision to offer free meals to children during school holidays, a campaign driven by the Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford.

Last October, she was forced to publicly apologise to Finsbury Park mosque in north London after inaccurately linking it to a violent incident in May.

The mosque had brought a legal action against Hopkins after she tweeted footage of five men attacking Met police officers, implying wrongly that the perpetrators were members of the mosque’s community.

Although she deleted the tweet, the mosque was told by Hopkins that she would be unable to pay damages if she lost in court, having already applied for insolvency in 2018 after losing a costly libel case to food writer Jack Monroe.



https://www.theguardian.com/media/2021/jul/17/anger-as-katie-hopkins-posts-video-reportedly-from-australian-lockdown-while-thousands-stranded-overseas