Independent Sydney MP Alex Greenwich will launch defamation action against One Nation’s Mark Latham over a vulgar homophobic tweet.
Mr Greenwich had given Mr Latham a deadline to apologise, which lapsed at midnight on Wednesday without any attempts to make amends, before he began legal proceedings.
Mr Greenwich confirmed on Wednesday that he had not received an apology and had instructed his lawyers to begin defamation proceedings, with the filing of a claim expected in coming days.
It follows Mr Greenwich receiving a letter from Mr Latham’s lawyers on Wednesday saying they would not accept his offers to resolve the situation outside court.
“This is not a process I enter into lightly, and a process I wish I didn’t have to engage in,” Mr Greenwich said.
“However, Mr Latham’s homophobic, sexualised attack has exposed me to contempt, ridicule and extreme abuse, based on my sexuality, and demands action.”
Mr Greenwich said he was also taking action on behalf of all LGBTQ+ people who faced regular abuse.
The offensive tweet in question – since removed from Mr Latham’s Twitter account – was posted seven weeks ago, and has been widely condemned for its graphic and homophobic nature.
The tweet was made after Mr Greenwich called Mr Latham a “disgusting human being” after LGBTQ+ protesters were attacked outside a forum where Mr Latham was a speaker during the NSW election.
Independent Sydney MP Alex Greenwich will launch defamation action against One Nation leader Mark Latham. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Damian Shaw
Earlier this month, Mr Greenwich, who is openly gay, confirmed his legal team had sent Mr Latham a notice on April 19; however, the One Nation leader continued to talk about the independent MP’s sexuality, including in a radio interview earlier this month.
Mr Greenwich – who has been an MP for a decade – has maintained Mr Latham’s tweet was the most “homophobic, sexualised attack that exposed me to contempt, ridicule, and extreme abuse based on my sexuality”.
“Enough is enough,” Mr Greenwich said earlier this month.
Mr Latham has refused to apologise, instead tweeting “never apologise, never explain”.
Mr Latham has refused to apologise for the tweet, and subsequent comments made. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Peter Lorimer
Federal One Nation leader Pauline Hanson initially condemned the tweet but walked back this week to throw her support behind Mr Latham.
In an interview earlier this week, Senator Hanson said she remained disappointed by Mr Latham’s conduct, but she would be seeking answers at a meeting with her NSW colleagues in coming weeks.
She said he was doing an “excellent job” representing the party in NSW.
Mr Greenwich has made a formal complaint to police against Mr Latham, accusing the One Nation MP of using a carriage service to harass and offend. He has also lodged a complaint of homosexual vilification to the anti-discrimination board.
Both investigations are ongoing.
Mr Greenwich will be represented by Dowson Turco Lawyers, Sophie Jeliba and Matt Collins AM KC.
Read related topics:One NationPauline HansonSydney