One Nation split as Pauline Hanson condemns ‘disgusting’ Mark Latham tweet – ABC News

One Nation split as Pauline Hanson condemns 'disgusting' Mark Latham tweet - ABC News

Mark Latham’s second controversy over LGBT issues in as many weeks has caused a split in One Nation, with federal senator Pauline Hanson admonishing his remarks as “disgusting”.

Mr Latham, the One Nation leader in NSW, posted and deleted a graphic and homophobic tweet, directed at comments by independent MP Alex Greenwich, on Thursday.

It has sparked widespread condemnation, including from within his party, and comes just 10 days after queer activists were allegedly bashed outside one of his pre-election speeches.

Ms Hanson, the federal senator and One Nation leader, said Mr Latham was not returning her calls last night.

“I want you to know that I don’t condone them [the comments], and neither do my members of parliament or party associates,” Ms Hanson said in a video statement.

“I think they are disgusting.

“I have actually tried to ring Mark a couple of times, to no avail … and also I’ve asked him to give the people an apology.”

Mr Greenwich said he was not expecting an apology and that he planned not to engage with the matter further.

“We know that some people seek to target the LGBTQ community to get attention, I don’t intend to help them with that,” he said.

“When you’re in public office, and public life, as an openly, proud gay man, you’re going to get targeted.

“But I focus more on the majority of people across the state who love, support and celebrate the LGBTQ community.”

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He later posted a tweet of his own, showing a picture of him with husband Victor Hoeld.

“For those wondering how I’m doing after Latham’s homophobic attacks today, I’m fine and I’m more motivated than ever to deliver long overdue LGBTIQA+ reforms … and I have the most handsome husband.”

Equality Australia’s legal director Ghassan Kassisieh said the language used by Mr Latham, which the ABC has chosen not to republish, was “unbecoming of a member of parliament”.

“These comments would be unacceptable in any workplace in New South Wales,” he said.

“But the best way that the parliament can respond is to get on with the job of removing discrimination against LGBTI people in our laws.”

NSW Labor’s Penny Sharpe said she felt “physically sick” on seeing Mr Latham’s tweet.

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Pauline Hanson says she has asked Mark Latham to apologise for his ‘disgusting’ tweet.(Facebook)

Speaking at Lifeline International President’s Lunch on Friday, Premier Chris Minns called Mr Latham a “bigot”.

“I think that they’re vile and shameful comments and I think he’s revealed himself to be a bigot,” he said. 

“It’s not what we need in public life in New South Wales, and while we’re here it’s also important to note the LGBTQ community are two-and-a-half times more likely to seek urgent medical help as a result of a mental condition.

“They need support from the leadership of New South Wales and there should be an unambiguous and universal condemnation of these comments.”

Mr Latham, a former federal Labor leader who joined One Nation in 2018, is set to be re-elected to the NSW upper house after Saturday’s poll.

He and the party had talked up their chances of securing a second spot in the Legislative Council, but it appears One Nation will fall short of the votes required.

On Thursday, Mr Latham replied to a tweet referencing his connection to a violent incident outside a Sydney church on March 21, where LGBT protesters were allegedly attacked by a mob in Belfield.

On March 22, Mr Greenwich called Mr Latham a “disgusting human being”, claiming his “lazy politics” fuelled the incident outside St Michael’s church.

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Mark Latham did not respond to requests for comment yesterday.(AAP: Dan Himbrechts)

The Sydney MP claimed Mr Latham had “directed hate” at the LGBT community for “weeks, months and nearly years”, including during this month’s election campaign.

Yesterday, Mr Latham replied to an eight-day-old tweet, which quoted Mr Greenwich’s comments.

Mr Latham’s post was later deleted, and he was contacted for comment.

He had also been tweeting about the March 21 incident, when about 15 members of the Community Action for Rainbow Rights (CARR) group were allegedly targeted.

Mr Latham was a guest speaker at a community forum in the church hall of St Michael’s, where CARR members were holding a peaceful protest outside.

Police say the activists were allegedly assaulted when hundreds of men ran out from the church to confront them.

Mr Latham previously condemned the violence, which resulted in three people being charged, but blamed CARR for inciting the incident, claiming they had tried to block entry to the church.

About 10:10am on Thursday, he shared a video of people praying at the church before the incident and referred to CARR as “alphabet freaks”, saying they had come “looking for trouble”.

“And they found it. But more than they could handle.”

He posted the tweet about Mr Greenwich a few minutes later.


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