NSW election 2023
Full election results
Premier Chris Minns wants a bipartisan agreement to block One Nation’s NSW leader Mark Latham from having any additional powers in the new parliament after the political firebrand doubled down on his homophobic slur.
Latham on Thursday morning tweeted a highly graphic and offensive comment aimed at Sydney independent MP Alex Greenwich, who is gay, prompting the party’s figurehead Pauline Hanson to demand Latham apologise.
Instead, after maintaining his silence for 24 hours, Latham tweeted “never apologise, never explain” before issuing a statement to News Corp in which he said: “Sometimes in public life when you throw out insults they come back at you harder and truer … So boo-hoo Alex Greenwich.”
Minns said his government would not support Latham chairing any upper house committee and urged the opposition to follow his lead.
“So the position from NSW Labor is unambiguous, we won’t be dealing with Mark Latham, we won’t be supporting him for committee chairs or assignments inside the chamber of the Legislative Council,” Minns said.
“I think his position and comments in relation to Alex Greenwich make that impossible. ”
Minns said Latham was trying to import a “US-style, Trump-style approach to politics in NSW” but without the same success.
“In fact, One Nation is likely to go backwards as a result of the election result, so we are going to make sure there is an unambiguous and unanimous approach from the opposition against this kind of commentary,” Minns said.
“He’s been condemned from nearly every political party in the state and rightly so. I think he has shown himself to be quite spiteful.”
Minns said he did not want to give Latham a “platform to launch, even under parliamentary privilege, further assaults on independents, crossbenchers or government members”.
“We don’t want Mr Latham himself at the centre of the public dialogue when you consider that his vote share is far, far below other minor parties not to mention major parties,” Minns said.
The former federal Labor leader made the comments in response to a article in which Greenwich called Latham “a disgusting human being”. The article was about LGBTQ protesters who were targeted outside a candidates’ forum which Latham addressed during the election campaign.
This masthead has chosen not to publish the words contained in Latham’s tweet.
In a video message posted to Facebook late on Thursday, a visibly angry Hanson said she had tried to call and text Latham “to no avail”.
“I want you to know that I don’t condone them [the comments] and neither do my members of parliament or party associates,” Hanson told her supporters.
“I think they are disgusting … and I have clearly sent a text message to him telling him my views and also I’ve asked for him to give the people an apology.”
Latham will be re-elected to the upper house after he resigned his spot to lead the One Nation ticket. However, the party will not get a second seat as it had hoped.
Labor-turned-One Nation candidate Tania Mihailuk will fill the casual vacancy created by Latham’s resignation. The party will have three MPs in the upper house.
Latham has not responded to the request for comment.
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