Australian prime minister rejects candidate’s Islam posts

2000Source: Associated Press

By ROD McGUIRK

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s prime minister said his Liberal Party rejected the anti-Muslim views of an election candidate who on Friday became the third to lose the conservative party’s endorsement in as many days over social media postings.

The scandals surrounding candidates have become distractions for Prime Minister Scott Morrison and opposition leader Bill Shorten as they attempt to focus voters on policies ahead of the May 18 election. Candidates for both the Liberal Party and the center-left Labor Party opposition quit on Friday over their online pasts.

Morrison had stood by Jessica Whelan, a Liberal candidate for the House of Representatives in Tasmania state, amid accusations on Thursday she made anti-Muslim posts on social media. Morrison said screenshots of Whelan’s comments appeared to have been doctored and a complaint had been made to police.

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