Australian fans of right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos have been left out-of-pocket after the former Breitbart editor’s sudden cancellation of his November tour Down Under.
According to the Herald Sun, Yiannopoulos was to be joined on tour by the “queen of right-wing media” Ann Coulter and the former Katter Party conservative Senator Fraser Anning at the end of the month.
But that extreme dream team is no more.
An email from promoter AE Media on Monday told ticket holders that Yiannopoulos and Coulter were out, to be replaced by so-called “western chauvinist” Gavin McInnes, the head of American group Proud Boys and the outspoken anti-islam activist Tommy Robinson.
Robinson, who’s real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, is the former leader of the English Defence League and recently spent two months in the lock-up after being sentenced for contempt of court for live-streaming outside a “grooming gang” trial.
McInnes has been in the headlines this week after Facebook started banning any accounts and groups associated with the Proud Boys, McInnes’ far-right extremist group linked to political violence in the US.
Earlier in October, five Proud Boys members were arrested after a series of violent altercations with protesters in New York.
“The libtard globalists are terrified of you two. Afraid that your logic makes too much common sense, thereby, causing everyone to question their ‘gospel’,” one fan said on Facebook.
“How dare they presume to substitute you and Ann with other speakers and not offer a refund up front,” fumed another.
“Me and my partner waited 8 months to see you and now we a devastated about it being cancelled,” said another. “But see you in 2019!”
A ticket to a two-hour session with Yiannopoulos and Coulter cost fans as much as $500.
Yiannopoulos was sympathetic on his Facebook page but protested his innocence, telling fans to take up their grievances with the promoters.
“Yesterday, I woke up to the news that my Australian tour with Ann had been cancelled and the promoter was ‘transferring’ tickets to another series of events,” he wrote.
“This is illegal. If you’re a ticket holder and want a refund, they are obliged to give you one and I will make sure that happens.”
Yiannopoulos’ Australian tour last year was a moveable feast of controversy, sparking outrage and accompanying violence, particularly in Melbourne, where his show attracted an extra 300 police to deal with the crowds, the running battles and protests.
Taxpayers footed the $50,000 security bill, one that Victorian Police Minister Lisa Neville confirmed had not been paid.
“It’s important to remember that the individual in question made a lot of money from his last tour and it was the Victorian taxpayer who had to foot the bill for his lack of organisation with Victoria Police,” she told Newscorp at the time.