Liberal candidate Katherine Deves: “I’m not going anywhere”

Liberal candidate Katherine Deves has declared there’s no way she’ll be stepping down from being the party’s candidate in Warringah.

“My opponents, parts of the left media and twittersphere have been unrelenting in calling for me to be disendorsed, because of past statements.” Deves wrote in an email to supporters on Monday night.

“I have been bullied in the most vile way and received death threats.

“I’m not going anywhere, as the Prime Minister said yesterday.”

The email was obtained by Nine Newspapers and published in the Sydney Morning Herald. In the message to local Liberal party members Deves says how she was selected as the candidate for Warringah was out of her control.

“How I was selected was not my decision. It was not how I wanted to come to represent you. Deves said. “As you know, at the time that I was appointed, I was preparing for a fair contest in a preselection. I want to echo the sentiments of our [electorate] president, that depriving you of that is against our values.”

When Deves originally submitted her application to be the candidate for the electorate she was knocked back because she had only recently rejoined the party. However she was selected by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and former federal party president Chris McDiven, who took over the candidate selection process when internal party fighting stopped the process proceeding.

Nine newspaper highlight that her background as a ‘Save Women’s Sport’ activist and previous comments about transgender people were known to the party before she was appointed as the candidate.

Since Deves was announced as the candidate a succession of her previous comments have been highlighted in the media. They include comparing her anti-transgender activism to fighting the holocaust, describing Wear It Purple Day as “child grooming”, suggesting transgender women were more likely to be sex offenders, and describing young transgender people as being “mutilated”.

Deves made multiple apologies as one by one her previous comments came to light. Since her last apology it’s also been highlighted that she compared a Western Australian court case where a transgender child was taken into care to the Stolen Generations, described transgender athlete and rights advocate Kirsti Miller as someone who people should be afraid of in the toilets, speculated that actor Elliot page was paid to come out as transgender, and suggested that Liberal MP’s who crossed the floor over the Religious Discrimination Bill were part of as “Trojan horse” movement infiltrating the party.

Coalition MPs are constantly being asked for comments on her selection as a candidate, and many appear to be taking her apologies from earlier in the week to also cover whatever the latest offensive comment that has come to light is.

Newly anointed Health Minister Anne Ruston was asked about Deves and said the “The most important thing” was that Deves had “done the right thing” apologised.

Ruston, who is the party’s official campaign spokesperson, wouldn’t comment on whether she personally though Deves should be dropped, but said Deves comments were “insensitive”.

“We are a broad church and people are entitled to their points of view. I think the most important thing is the views that were expressed by Ms Deves were absolutely unacceptable have been withdrawn. We don’t live in an echo chamber, we need to accept that people have differing views, but the views were expressed by Ms Deves were clearly unacceptable and she’s withdrawn them.” Ruston said during her appearance on the Today show.

LGBTIQA+ rights activists have highlighted that Deves has only apologised for the language she used to express her views.

OIP Staff

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