Controversial television personality and celebrity chef Pete Evans has signalled an unexpected change in career following a tumultuous 12 months.
The former My Kitchen Rules judge and known anti-vaxxer was announced on early Friday morning to be the new candidate running for the Senate with former One Nation senator Rod Culleton’s The Great Australian Party (GAP).
The party made the announcement about 1am, revealing Evans as its first federal candidate for the NSW senate.
“Pete Evans has maintained his principles and inspired others in the face of uncommon adversity,” a statement from the party, shared to Facebook, read.
“Pete is fully supportive of the GAP ethos, supporting restoration of the Commonwealth and the preservation of democracy in Australia.”
The controversial figure apparently displayed “unwavering commitment to advancing the freedoms of all Australians”.
“As a result, he has been resoundingly approved,” the statement said.
“Pete Evans has consistently demonstrated courage in exposing matters of public information and interest, provoking much needed debate despite the personal cost to himself.”
Evans ‘possesses essential attributes’, party leader says
Mr Culleton expressed his confidence in Evans, claiming he “possesses the essential attributes required to challenge the status quo and restore the rule of law as defined in our constitution”.
The announcement received a mixed response from GAP supporters with some in favour of the decision and others convinced Mr Culleton couldn’t have made a worse selection.
“Good Lord. What is the world coming to,” one wrote in a comment.
“Good luck trying to elect someone banned from social media,” someone else said.
Evans recently had his Facebook page removed for repeatedly spreading misinformation about Covid-19, encouraging his followers to question the legitimacy of the global pandemic.
Controversial figures combine forces
He earlier landed himself in hot water after claiming a “BioCharger” device he was selling for $15,000 could be used to treat Covid-19. He was fined $25,000 by the TGA.
Evans was also dumped by a string of sponsors and from a reality television show after sharing a neo-Nazi image.
Mr Culleton was booted from parliament in 2016 after the Federal Court found he was bankrupt.
The following year, the High Court ruled him ineligible to run as a senator due to a larceny charge in NSW.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.