Celebrity chef and conspiracy theorist Pete Evans has turned to one of his few remaining social media channels to hint at his next move – politics.
“Stay tuned for an announcement next week,” Evans wrote on an Instagram post of the logo of the relatively new and little-known Great Australian Party on Friday morning.
Evans, who was banned by Facebook late in 2020 for repeatedly violating its policies, produced an episode of his podcast with GAP founder, former Western Australian One Nation senator Rod Culleton, about a year ago.
The former chief uses his Evolve With Pete Evans podcast to interview guests on some of his pet topics, including vaccinations and the impact of glyphosate.
One precis for the episode with Mr Culleton says the maverick former senator “leads the Great Australian Party, in order to bring about the change that all Australians need, for them to have a fair go”.
Evans, who had more than a million followers on Facebook, was dumped by the social media giant in the days before Christmas when he urged Sydney-siders not to get tested for the coronavirus – as the northern beaches cluster spread across the city.
Spotify and Apple also banned Evans’ content late in 2020.
Evans is increasingly notorious for his views on issues such as the pandemic, mainstream science, Donald Trump and 5G, and still has nearly 500,000 followers on Instagram.
GAP has a much smaller following, with fewer than 25,000 fans on Facebook. Mr Culleton, who started as a One Nation senator in 2016, registered the party in 2019.
In late 2016, the Federal Court ruled Mr Culleton was ineligible to stand as a senator because of bankruptcy. Months later, the High Court ruled he had also been ineligible because of a larceny charge in NSW.
On GAP’s official Facebook page, a note states “the Commonwealth constitution dictates that you are the ‘supreme, absolute, uncontrollable authority’ in this country, and that is what GAP is all about”.
Its policies include the removal of personal income tax, nationalisation of the Commonwealth Bank and abolishment of the Family Court of Australia.
Evans had a bumpy 2020, being dumped by a host of lucrative sponsors and his book publisher after sharing a neo-Nazi meme on social media and being fined by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for falsely spruiking a coronavirus “light machine” treatment.
The controversial meme also cost him a job as host of the Ten Network’s I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here!, just hours after he had been confirmed in the role.
He remains unrepentant. Among his most recent Instagram posts are a digitally altered image of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter chief Jack Dorsey dressed as Nazis and another post referencing “the great reset” – a favourite reference of QAnon followers.