Controversial British television personality Katie Hopkins has accused Australian authorities of imprisoning people after being deported over her antics in hotel isolation.
Hopkins, who returned to the United Kingdom after being deported on Tuesday, blasted Australian authorities on Instagram and attempted to spark a ‘free Australia’ viral trend.
‘I will not relent. I will not back down. I will not apologise. Australians must be set free. #FreeAustralia,’ the well-known anti-lockdown campaigner posted in her latest of several related Instagram posts.
Controversial British television personality Katie Hopkins claims Australians are being imprisoned and must be freed after being deported over her bizarre antics and claims during hotel quarantine in Sydney. She is pictured at Heathrow Airport after arriving home
Deported British television star Katie Hopkins blasted Australian authorities in a series of social media posts and dramatically claimed Australian residents were being imprisoned
The hashtag #FreeAustralia has been used in 737 Instagram posts, many of them accompanying anti-vaccination or Covid-sceptic messages.
Deported: The controversial British commentator, 46, boarded a Singapore Airlines flight from Sydney at 3pm on Monday
She also posted a claim that South Australians had been ‘crucified’ over five cases.
Hopkins was here to take part in Channel 7’s Big Brother VIP but her comments while in hotel quarantine led to a huge backlash.
Hopkins, who has previously called Covid lockdowns ‘the greatest hoax in human history, has taken on Australian lockdowns as a cause since being kicked out of Australia.
She was deported after publicly claiming she taunted hotel security by answering the door naked while not wearing a mask during her mandatory 14-day quarantine in Sydney.
‘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 said in an Instagram Live video while breaking out into hysterics.
Hopkins said she was ‘lying in wait’ to ‘spring [the door] open and frighten the s*** out of them and do it naked with no face mask.’
Hopkins wore sunglasses as she walked into the international terminal on Monday afternoon
Controversial: Hopkins did not wear her mask properly as she went though security at Sydney Airport
Bitter: Far-right provocateur Katie Hopkins has tried to claim her humiliating deportation from Australia as a victory, telling her supporters on Instagram she will never be ‘silenced’ after being sent back to the UK for joking about breaching hotel quarantine in Sydney
She has posted snipped social media posts from supporters and news headlines she agrees with to her 269,000 Instagram followers.
How Katie Hopkins rose to fame on BBC’s The Apprentice to become a media personality
Katie Hopkins is a well-known media personality and commentator in Britain who rose to fame on The Apprentice in 2007 and soon became an outspoken household name, writing in several newspapers.
The 46-year-old mother-of-two finished as runner-up in the 15th series of the UK’s Celebrity Big Brother in 2015, 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 – and in recent months has criticised the Black Lives Matter movement as well as Covid-19 lockdowns.
She once had a popular radio show on 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.
Hopkins also lost a libel case against food blogger Jack Monroe which saw her pay out £24,000 in damages after suggesting they backed the defacing a war memorial during a protest in London.
Donald Trump once described her in 2015 on Twitter as a ‘respected columnist’ after she backed the former US president’s claims that parts of London had become so radicalised that people were scared to visit.
Hopkins was permanently banned from Twitter in June 2020.
Among the 7,000-plus followers to like her #FreeAustralia post was the Organic Store at Bowral, whose owners were arrested after refusing to serve customers wearing masks and scuffling with police on July 1.
In 2020 Hopkins was permanently banned from Twitter for violating the platform’s ‘hateful conduct’ policy.
Hopkins tried to claim her humiliating deportation as a victory, also telling her supporters she will never be ‘silenced’.
The controversial British social commentator boarded a Singapore Airlines flight from Sydney at 3pm on Monday after her ‘critical skills’ visa was torn up by the Federal Government and she was fined $1,000 (£536) for answering the door of her room in quarantine naked and without a face mask in violation of quarantine rules.
Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said on Monday morning: ‘I hadn’t heard of her before and I don’t want to hear about her ever again.
‘I thought it was just shameful, the fact that she was out there boasting about breaching quarantine was just appalling,’ she told the ABC.
‘It was a slap in the face for all those Australians who are currently in lockdown and it’s just unacceptable behaviour.’
Some 12 million Australians in Victoria and Greater Sydney are in lockdown over an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant which began on June 16.
Under one of the toughest Covid border policies in the world, Australia has banned tourists and is only allowing 3,035 people a week to enter the country via 14-day hotel quarantine, leaving 40,000 Aussies stranded overseas.
But foreigners with critical skills visas are not always included in the cap because they are deemed to bring ‘economic benefit’ to the country.
‘There are very well established processes and procedures for people to enter this country and many decisions are made on the basis of economic benefit,’ Ms Andrews said.
Critical skills visas are for sectors ‘critical to Australia’s economic recovery’ including financial technology, large scale manufacturing, film, media and television production and emerging technology.
The minister said her department approved Hopkins’ visa at the request of the New South Wales government.
‘It was the State Government that came to us with an application to bring in this individual to effectively increase the economic opportunities in that particular State,’ she said.
Facing criticism that celebrities are being prioritised over Australians seeking to return, Ms Andrews said the federal government wants to increase the arrival cap which was halved last month at the request of Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia state governments.
Leaving Australia: Hopkins carried her own luggage into the Airport after being dropped off by quarantine staff
Katie Hopkins pictured during one of her routines in a video posted to Instagram
Ms Andrews praised the Australian Border Force for dealing with Hopkins’ visa revocation swiftly over the weekend.
‘As soon as we found out about her behaviour and the fact that she was out there openly flaunting our quarantine system here, we took pretty strong action as quickly as we possibly could to get that visa cancelled, and to make sure she would be leaving country,’ she said.
Hopkins rose to fame after starring on The Apprentice in the UK in 2007 and is known for her contentious views on race, sex, class, obesity and migration.
Channel Seven confirmed she has been booted from Celebrity Big Brother.
A spokesman told Daily Mail Australia on Sunday: ‘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.’
Katie Hopkins blasts Australia’s leaders for ‘imprisoning’ people during lockdowns