A lot of words have been used to bookend the name Pete Evans. Celebrity chef. Controversial. Outspoken. Popular. Dangerous...
If things go according to his latest plan, that list could include another word: Senator.
On Friday morning, former One Nation senator Rod Culleton announced that the former My Kitchen Rules judge has joined his Great Australian Party and will stand as a NSW senate candidate at the next federal election.
"Pete Evans has consistently demonstrated courage in exposing matters of public information and interest, provoking much needed debate despite personal cost to himself," Culleton said in a statement.
"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."
For immediate release!— Great Australian Party by Rod Culleton (@RodCulletonGAP) February 11, 2021
Pete Evans has been approved to run as a NSW senate candidate for the Great Australian Party. pic.twitter.com/qvomivlRMW
The news comes on the back of a headline-grabbing year for Evans, who has become somewhat of a beacon for conspiracy theorists — from anti-vaxxers, to QAnon followers and pandemic deniers.
In April 2020, his company was fined more than $25,000 by the Therapeutic Goods Administration after he promoted an "energy healing" device called a 'BioCharger' to his 1.4 million Facebook followers, claiming via a live-stream that it could be used in relation to the coronavirus. The item was available for purchase on his website for close to AU$15,000.
In November, Evans posted a black sun Nazi symbol to social media that saw him dumped by his publisher PanMacmillan, sacked from an upcoming gig on Network Ten's I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here, and had retailers including Big W, Coles, Dymocks, Kmart and Booktopia refuse to stock his books, food products and homewares.
The following month, Evans was banned by Facebook for repeatedly sharing misinformation about COVID-19. The chef-cum-influencer made numerous posts opposing vaccines and mask-wearing, and speaking on a New Zealand podcast in June described the pandemic as "a hoax".