Pete Evans confirms run for politics.
By Evin Priest, Jade Gailberger, Finn McHugh
Pete Evans has confirmed his move to politics, announcing he will stand as a candidate for a fringe party run by a former One Nation senator.
Pete Evans has announced he will join politics and run for the Senate with former One Nation senator Rod Culleton’s The Great Australian Party.
Controversial celebrity chef and known anti-vaxxer Evans was announced as a candidate for the upcoming federal election in a statement from the party about 1am on Friday.
“Pete Evans has maintained his principles and inspired others in the face of uncommon adversity,” a statement from Mr Culleton said.
“Pete is fully supportive of the GAP ethos, supporting restoration of the commonwealth and the preservation of democracy in Australia.
“Throughout his engagement with GAP’s national selection committee, Pete presented an unwavering commitment to advancing the freedoms of all Australians. As a result, he has been resoundingly approved.
Pete Evans has lost numerous sponsorship deals in the past few months due to increasing public backlash over his views.
“Pete Evans has consistently demonstrated courage in exposing matters of public information and interest, provoking much needed debate despite personal cost to himself.
“I believe Pete Evans will effectively and diligently represent GAP’s growing membership base and all NSW constituents. Pete possesses the essential attributes required to challenge the status quo and restore the rule of law as defined in our constitution.
“It gives me great pleasure to congratulate Pete and welcome him on board as GAP’s first federal candidate for the NSW senate.”
Evans has previously been blasted for holding anti-vaxxer views which he aired on the Kyle and Jackie O radio show in May last year.
With Australia approaching its rollout of the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines for COVID-19, Prime Minister Scott Morrison was asked about Mr Evans’ political ambitions on Friday.
He denied Mr Evans’ run would undermine confidence in Australia’s vaccine rollout, but urged media outlets not to give undue attention to the conspiracy theorist.
“It all depends on how much publicity you choose to give him. I’m not going to give him any, so I don’t propose you do,” Mr Morrison said.
Senate leader Simon Birmingham was also asked how he would feel about being in the chamber with Mr Evans.
But Senator Birmingham told Sky News that he trusted the Australian people to elect “more sensible” people to the parliament.
“I think Australians have little tolerance for some of the types of views that Pete Evans has pushed in the past and will elect more sensible people to the Australian Senate at the next election,” he said.
Former celebrity chef Pete Evans now runs a podcast where he speaks to people about medicinal marijuana, vaccines, politics and bitcoin.
Evans was dropped by Pan Macmillan, which published 17 of his books, before Channel 10 booted him off I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here!
Woolworths, Big W, Dymocks, Coles, Kmart, Target and the homeware brands Baccarat and House also distanced themselves from him.
Mr Culleton, a Western Australia-based politician, initially sat as a One Nation senator and then independent following the 2016 election.
But he was booted from this position later that same year after the Federal Court found he was bankrupt.
In 2017, the High Court also ruled that Mr Culleton was ineligible to run as a senator due to a larceny charge in NSW.
The small party lists policies related to tax reform, the elimination of local councils and the abolition of the Reserve Bank.
In August, Mr Evans revealed an allegiance to former US president Donald Trump.
Mr Evans donned a red “Make America Great Again” cap synonymous with Trump fans as he declared his support for the hotel billionaire online.
“Yeah I’m going to say it, go Trump,” Evans said in the lead-up to the US election in which Mr Trump was beaten by Democrat Joe Biden.