Marise Payne not willing to voice support for Katherine Deves


Foreign Minister Marise Payne was not forthcoming with support for controversial Warrignah ‘Captain’s Pick’ Katherine Deves when interviewed on the ABC’s Insiders program on Sunday morning.

Host David Speers asked Payne if she shared the view of Prime Minister Scott Morrison and former Prime Minister Tony Abbott who have back Katherine Deeves as a candidate, or New South Wales treasurer Matt Kean who has called for her to be disendorsed as a candidate.

Payne wasn’t willing to put her name to either side of the debate that has fractured the Liberal party, but she said she did not agree with Katherine Deves views.

“I don’t share Ms Deves views on the comments she has made, but importantly she has apologised, she has withdrawn those views, and as the Prime Minister said yesterday in public life we do have to be very careful about the way we express our opinions.

“Most importantly we have to exercise sensitivity and respect, and in this case, the case of the massively complex and extremely challenging issues that accompany any individual’s decisions about transition and transgender issues overwhelmingly that has to be the approach that we take – one of sensitivity and one of respect – and that is my view actually, mine.”

Asked if she thought Deves should be dropped as a candidate, Payne said it was a matter for the party.

“Ultimately that’s a matter for the Liberal party here in New South Wales.” Payne responded, asked a third time if she thinks Deves should be dropped, Payne said the important thing was that Deves has apologised.

“Ms Deves has apologised for those remarks. She has withdrawn those remarks and that’s the most important thing as she continues as the candidate there in Warringah. She has made that apology clear, but importantly in relation to the issue that she has been discussing I think we need to look at fairness, safety and inclusion in terms of women in sport.” Payne said.

“This is a discussion that we should be having, it’s a discussion that a number of the codes have already engaged in across Australia and internationally, and I think the focus that has come out of those discussions about safety, and fairness, and inclusion, is  an important one.”

David Speers highlighted that as one of the most senior Liberal figures from the New South Wales division and her opinion was an important one, asking for a forth time;
“Do you think Katherine Deves should be dropped as the Liberal candidate”

“Ms Deves is the Liberal candidate David, and that is the premise upon which we are approaching, she is the Liberal candidate.” Payne answered.

Having a fifth go and the question Speers asked, “But do you think she should be dropped?”

“She has withdrawn and apologised for those remarks.” Payne said.

“But do you think she should be dropped as the candidate is the question.” Speers responded, asking his question for a sixth time.

“David, she is the Liberal candidate and she’s withdrawn and apologised for those remarks.” Payne said.

“But should she be dropped?” Speers persisted, putting the question to the Minister for a seventh time.

“David, it’s a matter for the organisation in New South Wales.” the NSW senator answered. “I need to get on with my job, that’s what I’m doing, and I don’t agree with the remarks that she made – I’ve made that explicitly clear, I do agree that there needs to be a discission in relation to the participation of transgender people in sport, and that is one that is based on fairness and inclusion.”

Speers went on to ask Payne why in previous elections the Prime Minister had disendorsed candidates who had made inappropriate social media posts, but now was accepting the posts made by Katherine Deves.

The Foreign Minister said the key difference was the Deves had made apologies for her posts.

Payne would not be drawn on the process used to select candidates despite being asked multiple times. She said she was looking forward, rather than backwards and was happy to be working with all the candidates selected by the committee.

OIP Staff

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