Just a few days after right-wing speaker Milo Yiannopoulos had his visa application rejected by the Australian government, Immigration Minister David Coleman will reportedly step in to reverse the decision.
According to The Australian, Coleman was not convinced by a letter from the Department of Home Affairs which listed a number of reasons – including Yiannopoulos’ $50,000 debt to Victoria Police – to deny him a visa.
The reverse comes as prominent right-wing voices, including One Nation leader Pauline Hanson, denounced the government’s decision to ban the provocateur from entering the country for a series of shows.
Spineless Morrison Government made a big mistake banning Milo Yiannopoulos. They just validated the left's violent tactics & acted like an arm of Antifa! This will lead to more violence! Next time a left wing thug punches a conservative at a free speech rally thank Morrison! -PH— Pauline Hanson ???????? (@PaulineHansonOz) March 6, 2019
The Sydney Morning Herald reports Coleman will “personally approve” the visa.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison appeared to distance himself from the issue.
“There’s a process that is followed in relation to character issues in regards to people who wish to come to Australia and the minister [Coleman] has been following that normal process. There has been decisions taken to date by the department and it is open to the minister to play a role in that process where he believes it is necessary to do so.”
“[The minister] will make a decision on this issue shortly,” Morrison said.
The Immigration Minister could intervene in the case of British commentator Milo Yiannopoulos to allow him into the country.@ScottMorrisonMP: Free speech is important in Australia, but people have to be responsible for what they say.— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) March 9, 2019
MORE: https://t.co/LcmWZ9pHTw #WeekendLive pic.twitter.com/QNSSz28lFq
Federal MP Tim Wilson told The Australian he had personally talked to Coleman about the initial visa ban.
“Milo is a boring, unimaginative, self-absorbed attention-seeker of questionable character,” he said. “But free speech is for everyone, hence I was surprised by the news and have raised it with the minister.”
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Image: Getty Images / Don Arnold