Kanye West could be denied entry to Australia over his history of antisemitic remarks, according to a government minister.
It is understood the rapper – who now goes by the name Ye – was planning to visit the country to meet the family of his partner, Bianca Censori, who grew up in Melbourne.
Jason Clare, the education minister, condemned Ye’s “awful” antisemitic comments involving Hitler and the Holocaust, saying others who had made similar statements had been denied visas.
“People like that who’ve applied for visas to get into Australia in the past have been rejected,” Clare said in an interview on Channel Nine. “I expect that if he does apply he would have to go through the same process and answer the same questions that they did.”
In recent months, Ye has made a string of antisemitic remarks – including praising Hitler, tweeting a picture of a swastika and denying the Holocaust.
Opposition leader Peter Dutton, an immigration minister under a previous government, said on Tuesday that he would be inclined to ban Ye but that it was a decision for the government.
“His antisemitic comments are disgraceful, his conduct, his behaviour are appalling,” he told 3AW radio.
“He’s not a person of good character and the minister has the ability to stop somebody coming into our country of bad character.”
Peter Wertheim, co-chief executive officer of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, met officials on Tuesday to argue in favour of banning the musician.
“We had a sympathetic hearing,” Wertheim said.
“We’ve made the case that this particular individual does not meet the character test and that it would be in the national interest not to grant him a visa and we set out our reasons in some detail in that letter.”