Scott Morrison says Deves is here to stay and she’s learned from the past

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has ruled out disendoring Warringah candidate Katherine Deves, saying she’s learned from her past mistakes.

Morrison responded to calls from NSW treasurer Matt Kean who had said the views expressed by Deves had no place in any mainstream political party.

Morrison said while Deves may have been “insensitive” in the past, people from all sides of politics had at times said things they could have articulated with greater respect.

“I think as we look at these issues and the debates which [are] sensitive debates, they can be controversial debates, it is always important to show respect for the person sitting across the table from you.

“We may not always agree, but when we disagree, it is important that we disagree better. And so I think the comments that Katherine has made obviously were insensitive and she has admitted that, just as we’ve got Labor candidates who similarly have said things in the past which are insensitive, and even the Labor leader themselves said if that’s the case, then no one would be running for parliament – they are not my words.”

“I don’t share Matt’s view. I share Tony Abbott’s view.” the Prime Minister said. Endorsing the former Prime Minister’s view that Deves is someone who should be admired.

“I’m not joining that pile-on and she has learned from her experiences… 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.”

In recent days a number of deleted social media posts, and video clips featuring the Warringah candidate have surfaced including a post where she appears to suggest that transgender women are more likely to be sex offenders, she also described Wear It Purple Day as a child grooming exercise, and compared her anti-transgender activism to fighting the Holocaust.

In video clips Deves was seen being dismissive of the high rate of suicide among people who are transgender, and in another clip she described LGBTIQA activists as akin to a Hydra that needs it’s “immortal head cut off” to be “buried under a rock”.

The Prime Minister said he suspects that outrage about Deves past comments not so much about what she said, but more about her activism in the area of women’s sport.

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

The Prime Minister said Deves has done the right thing by the transgender community by acknowledging she had been insensitive in the past.

“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.

OIP Staff

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