Tasmanian police charge man over alleged assault of Tony Abbott

Tasmanian police have charged a 38 year old North Hobart man one count of common assault following an investigation into an alleged incident involving former Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

The man was granted bail and will appear in Hobart’s Magistrates Court at 9:30am on 23 October.

Abbott told radio station 2GB that a man had approached him and asked to shake his hand, the man then allegedly headbutted the MP resulting him in receiving a “very very slightly swollen lip.”

Abbott told the radio station that the man was wearing a ‘Yes’ campaign badge, which made him think the man was part of the campaign for same-sex marriage.

The former PM was leaving the offices of The Mercury newspaper when the incident occurred. Abbott was accompanied by a staffer, who has since confirmed to Sky News that the man who approached them did not mention the issue of marriage equality prior to the alleged assault.

Deputy Prime Minister, and Nationals leader, Barnaby Joyce has commented on the incident saying people should treat each other with respect.

“I’ve got mates in the Yes case. I don’t reach over the dinner table and headbutt them,” Joyce said. “People know that I’m in the so-called No case – whatever that means – and I believe in the current definition of marriage. Does that mean I’m some pastor or priest? No I’m not. I’m just a regular person with all the regular faults and failings.”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the incident involving Mr Abbott was “Un-Australian” and “disgraceful” but was not representative of the majority of Australians involved in the marriage debate.

“This is a disgraceful incident and I condemn this assault on Tony. Any violence coming into our political life is absolutely to be condemned,” the Prime Minister told radio station 3AW.

“This is one of a relatively small number of incidents but any one is one too many.”

“The media will take an incident here, an incident there and give it enormous prominence and can create a misleading impression. Overwhelmingly Australians are approaching this with great respect.”

OIP Staff

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