Source: Associated Press
By ROD McGUIRK
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australian political parties have cut loose or chastised several of their candidates less than three weeks before elections for sexist, anti-Muslim, racist and homophobic remarks mostly made on social media.
The scandals surrounding candidates have become recurring distractions for Prime Minister Scott Morrison and opposition leader Bill Shorten this week as they attempt to sell their policies on the campaign trail ahead of the May 18 vote. A frustrated Morrison has suggested his conservative Liberal Party update its candidate vetting processes to deal with the online generation.
Morrison on Thursday stood by Jessica Whelan, a Liberal candidate for the House of Representatives in Tasmania state, amid accusations 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.