Scott Morrison stands by Liberal candidate Katherine Deves after anti-trans comments
Posted On April 16, 2022
Scott Morrison has stood by a Liberal candidate who likened stopping transgender children competing in women’s sport to standing up against the Holocaust.
But he did not stand by the comments made by Katherine Deves, who is running for the seat of Warringah on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
“This is a woman standing up for women and girls in sport,” Mr Morrison said while on the campaign trail today.
“There are ways she has expressed in the past that she no longer feels comfortable with.”
He noted that he didn’t share the sentiments Ms Deves had said.
“It is always important to show respect for the person sitting across the table from you,” Mr Morrison said.
“We may not always agree, but when we disagree, it is important that we disagree better.”
Mr Morrison’s comments came after NSW Treasurer Matt Kean, also a Liberal, called for Ms Deves to be disendorsed.
“There is no place in a mainstream political party for bigotry,” he said.
“Coming out as Trans would be hugely challenging, especially for kids, and political leaders should be condemning the persecution of people based on their gender, not participating in it.”
Mr Morrison said he didn’t support Mr Kean’s view.
Instead, he pivoted to the Labor candidate for Hunter, Dan Repacholi, who was also criticised for past social media comments.
“There are things that Katherine has said in the past just like the Labor member for Hunter has said some pretty unfortunate and disrespectful things in the past.
“I haven’t called for him to be disendorsed.”
Speaking on the issue today, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese noted Labor Hunter candidate Dan Repecholi’s comments were made when he was much younger.
Mr Albanese said the NSW branch of the Liberal Party is “tearing itself apart”.
“The Prime Minister earlier this week said that he shared Katherine Deves’s values,” Mr Albanese said.
“There is a revolt amongst Liberal Party members in electorates like Hughes, there is a range of candidates have been imposed from outside.”
He was asked whether he thought Ms Deves should be disendorsed.
“It’s a matter for the Liberal Party,” he said.
“But if I was Scott Morrison, I wouldn’t have selected her in the first place.”
Ms Deves was a “captain’s pick” by the Prime Minister to run in the seat of Warringah.
The electorate is currently represented by independent Zali Steggall, who won the seat previously held by Tony Abbott.