Albanese says Morrison should accept responsibility for picking Deves

Labor leader Anthony Albanese says it’s extraordinary that the Prime Minister is putting his support behind Warringah candidate Katherine Deves, when her selection is clearing driving a wedge through the Liberal party and wider society.

Albanese said the selection of Deves as a candidate was an issue for the Liberal party, but he’d never have picked her to be in parliament.

“The New South Wales branch is tearing itself apart. This has been a civil war that has been going on for over a year now and what is extraordinary is that Katherine Deves has been handpicked by the Prime Minister.” Albanese said on Saturday.

“She was the Prime Minister’s own choice. The Prime Minister earlier this week said that he shared Katherine Deves’ values in endorsing her yet again…There is a revolt amongst Liberal Party members in electorates like Hughes, there is a range of candidates have been imposed from outside and Scott Morrison’s judgement.

“I saw the press conference that he just held, where he refuses to accept responsibility once again. He is always looking to blame someone else. It is very clear that this selection of this candidate is not just dividing the country, it is dividing the Liberal Party.” Albanese said.

Albanese said the concerns about Deves were very different to those raised about Labor candidate Daniel Repacholi. The former Olympian is Labor’s candidate for Hunter, replacing the retiring Joel Fitzgibbon.

Repacholi apologised for disparaging comments he made about India and links to a soft porn website, in social media posts from over a decade ago. It was also highlighted that the candidate had voiced his support for the coal industry in the past.

Albanese said it was not fair to make a direct comparison as Repacholi’s comments were from when he was in his twenties, as many of Deves comments were from with the last year.

“These are comments that were made a very, very long time ago. A very long time ago. This candidate in Warringah, this has been her main political approach has been on these issues, as opposed to Mr Repacholi who quite frankly, his main approach in his 20s was winning medals.”

Earlier today the Prime Minister ruled out disendorsing Deves, saying while she had made insensitive remarks in the past, she had learned from her mistakes and would be better in the future.

“She has sought to deal with the issues in the past, and I have no doubt she will pursue these issues in a more sensitive way.” the Prime Minister said earlier today.

“She has acknowledged that she has been insensitive and she has done that and that is the right way to respect the trans community and I don’t share those sentiments either.

“But what I do know is that in life, people learn things along the way and as they learn thing along the way, they learn how to be a better member of parliament and what is a more respectful way to prosecute the cases that they seek to do in public life.

“The way she is seeking to deal with that as she puts herself forward as a candidate – I think it’s important and I think it’s quite honest.” Morrison said.

The Prime Minister said he suspected complaints about Deves were more about her passionate advocacy for bringing in laws that would protecting women in sport.

“I suspect they don’t like the things she is talking about when it comes to women and girls in sport.” Morrison said.

OIP Staff

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