Fraser Anning: Australian MP censured for 'appalling' Christchurch remarks | 2019-04-03 |

Fraser Anning: Australian MP censured for 'appalling' Christchurch remarks


3rd April, 2019 12:45:02 printer

Fraser Anning: Australian MP censured for 'appalling' Christchurch remarks


The Australian Senate has formally censured a lawmaker who sparked outrage by blaming the New Zealand mosque attacks on Muslim migration.


Senator Fraser Anning, a far-right independent, made his comments on the day of the shootings in Christchurch which killed 50 people last month.


On Wednesday, lawmakers from across the political spectrum condemned his "inflammatory and divisive" remarks.


Mr Anning said the censure was "an attack on free speech".


The reprimand, the fifth to be passed by the Senate in the past decade, stated that Mr Anning's remarks last month did not reflect the views of the parliament or the Australian people.


He had said: "The real cause of bloodshed on New Zealand streets today is the immigration program that allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place."


His comments were "shameful" and "appalling", other lawmakers told the Senate. The censure read that Mr Anning had sought to "attribute blame to victims of a horrific crime and to vilify people on the basis of religion".


Public backlash


More than 1.4 million people signed a petition demanding Mr Anning's resignation in the days following his comments on 15 March.


At the time, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called his remarks "a disgrace".


In one highly publicised incident, a teenage protester squashed an egg on the senator's head during a press briefing.


Mr Anning has repeatedly defended his comments. He left the Senate on Wednesday before the motion was passed.