‘Abhorrent and offensive’: Senator breaks down over clash during Nazi debate – Sky News Australia

‘Abhorrent and offensive’: Senator breaks down over clash during Nazi debate - Sky News Australia

Liberal Senator Sarah Henderson has addressed a clash with Labor’s Murray Watt after a Nazi debate in the chamber reduced her to tears. 

Earlier footage on Friday shows the Senator overcome with emotion as she addressed comments made by Mr Watt during a debate over banning Nazi symbols. 

Ms Henderson was targeted by Labor after it was revealed she privately urged the Victorian Liberal leader John Pesutto not to expel MP Moira Deeming. 

Ms Deeming had attended the Melbourne anti-transgender rights rally over the weekend where neo-Nazis participated and performed the national socialist salute.

Ms Henderson was recalling the incident when she yelled across the Chamber: “Senator Watt said the most disgraceful thing, and he is to withdraw it”.

“I am disgusted in you,” she added. 

Before Ms Henderson could continue, the President of the Senate jumped in saying: “I did not hear the remark but in the interest of the Senate, I am going to ask you to withdraw.” 

Mr Watt withdrew his remarks but said he was referring to text messages the Senator had sent. 

'War’ erupts in Victorian Liberal Party over Moira Deeming expulsion

Ms Henderson later addressed the clash in a formal statement, claiming that Mr Watt’s comments were “abhorrent and offensive”. 

“Senator Watt interjected. As he pointed directly towards me, he said words that I will not repeat and that no other person should repeat,” she said across the chamber. 

“Since I was first elected in 2013, I do not recall in this chamber…a more distasteful statement.

“The precise words uttered by Senator Watt will be seared into my memory for a very long time.

“Any attempt to distort and recharacterise his interjection, only compounds the damage.”

‘No suggestion’ Vic MP Moira Deeming is a neo-Nazi

The Victorian Senator said those in parliament should have the right to “speak freely” under “parliamentary privilege”.  

“Our workplace must be safe in all respects. Words can cause enormous harm,” Ms Henderson added. 

Mr Watt responded to the Senator’s statement, saying he did not intend to upset Ms Henderson. 

“I did not intend to upset Senator Henderson, and that’s why I withdrew my remarks,” he said.

“We all want this place to be a safe and respectful workplace. None of us want to see our colleagues in distress.”

Moira Deeming made the ‘wrong choice’ by not immediately distancing herself from neo-Nazis

Associate Editor for The Australian John Ferguson said on Wednesday there was “no suggestion” Ms Deeming is a neo-Nazi, and that she should not be expelled from the Liberal Party.

“Pesutto… I suppose he’s gambled everything on getting her out of the Party,” Mr Ferguson told Sky News Australia host Sharri Markson.

“I reckon he’s probably gone too far.”

He added that Ms Deeming “made the wrong choice” by not immediately distancing herself from neo-Nazis when they arrived at a women’s rights protest she was involved in. 

“She didn’t do that, so that was a mistake,” Mr Ferguson said. 

Source: skynews.com.au

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