The federal government has rejected alt-right troll Milo Yiannopoulos’ application for a visa to enter Australia, angering One Nation leader Pauline Hanson.
Yiannopoulos had his visa application rejected on character grounds, Nine newspapers reported on Wednesday, and he has a month to appeal the decision.
His 2017 tour of Australia saw violent clashes between left- and right-wing protesters, including a violent brawl in Victoria which required police to intervene.
A letter sent to Yiannopoulos by the Immigration Department last week was published by News Corp, and cited the risk Yiannopoulos would “incite discord in the Australian community or in a segment of that community”, referring to the earlier protests at which two were arrested and five police officers were injured.
“Despite the locations of your previous appearances being withheld by the organisers until 24 hours prior to the events, there were significant protests at both the Sydney and Melbourne events,” the department wrote.
“The protest at the Melbourne event involved violence between those protesting and your supporters.
“You were issued with a bill of $50,000 by Victoria Police for the cost of policing your event.”
Australia’s Department of Home Affairs said in a statement, “Any application lodged with the department by visitors who may hold controversial views will be considered, balancing any risk they may pose with Australia’s well-established freedom of speech and freedom of beliefs.”
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson leapt to Yiannopoulos’ defence, claiming he and other far-right activists “have not called for violence… they are victims of violence.”
“I’m sad to say the government is now acting as an arm of Antifa,” she wrote on Facebook.
“By refusing them entry into Australia this gutless government is validating the left’s use of violence to silence people.”
Milo says he has ‘lost everything’
Yiannopoulos has previously been linked to neo-Nazis and white supremacists, has been banned from Twitter for harassment and in 2017 famously urged Australians to vote “no” for same-sex marriage just months after marrying his own husband.
Last June he sent threatening text messages to journalists that read, “I can’t wait for the vigilante squads to start gunning journalists down on sight” and he lost his job as editor of right-wing news site Breitbart in February 2017 for comments about victims of child sex abuse.
Yiannopoulos had his November Australian tour cancelled due to “unforeseen circumstances” and was in allegedly more than $2 million in debt last year, according to documents released by the doomed tour’s promoters.
Last August, Milo lashed out at his US followers for not doing enough to defend him after he spends “literally millions of dollars trying to do talks, speeches, events, rallies and protests”.
“My events almost never happen. It’s protests, or sabotage from Republican competitors or social media outcries. Every time, it costs me tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he wrote on Facebook.
“My annual security bill amounts to hundreds of thousands of dollars – just so my husband and I don’t get killed going for sushi.
“I have to make that money somehow just to stay afloat, and that doesn’t scratch the surface of staff costs, insurance, your insane American taxes.
“For my trouble, I have lost everything standing up for the truth in America, spent all my savings, destroyed all my friendships, and ruined my whole life.”