Celebrity chef Pete Evans has been announced as the federal Senate candidate for the independent Great Australian Party (GAP), the party’s leader Rod Culleton said on Friday.
Evans, who has opened award-winning restaurants, is best known for authoring around 25 best-selling healthy cooking and lifestyle books and for co-hosting and judging 11 seasons of one of Australia’s highest-rated television competition shows, “My Kitchen Rules.”
He has courted controversy for his support of former President Donald Trump and been permanently banned from Facebook for his views on the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.
Culleton said Evans presented an “unwavering commitment” to advancing the freedoms for all Australians.
“Pete Evens has maintained his principles and inspired others in the face of uncommon adversity,” Culleton said in a media release. “Pete is fully supportive of the GAP ethos, supporting restoration of the Commonwealth and the preservation of democracy in Australia.”
“Pete Evans has consistently demonstrated courage in exposing matters of public information and interest, provoking much-needed debate, despite the personal cost to himself,” he said.
Culleton said he believed Evans will “effectively and diligently represent the GAP’s growing membership base” and all New South Wales constituents.
“Pete possesses the essential attributes required to challenge the status quo and restore the rule of law as defined in our constitution,” he said.
The news comes after Evans hinted on Instagram on Jan. 15 that he would soon make an announcement in a post that featured the logo for the GAP.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Stay tuned for an announcement next week,” Evans wrote.
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Australian Politicians Respond
Australian politicians have responded to the news that Evans will be a candidate for the Senate in the next election.
NSW Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi was not happy with Seven’s Sunrise referring to Evans as a “celebrity chef” on its show. Writing on Twitter on Friday, Faruqi said: “Pete Evans isn’t a “celebrity chef”. He’s a dangerous conspiracy theorist who posts Nazi [expletive]. We (you!) need to start calling a spade a spade.”
When asked by reporters on Friday if he was concerned about Evans running for the Senate, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it depended on how much coverage the media gives him.
“Well, that depends how much publicity you choose to give him. I’m not going to give him any, so I don’t propose you do that,” Morrison said.
Senate leader Simon Birmingham was also asked how he feels about potentially sharing the chamber with Evans. “I trust the Australian people to make sure that’s not the case,” he told SkyNews.
“I think that Australians have little tolerance for some of the types of views that Pete Evans has pushed in the past,” he added. “And I’m sure that Australians will elect more sensible people to the Australian Senate at the next election.”