NSW Premier Chris Minns has lashed Mark Latham and accused him of trying to import a Donald Trump-style approach to local politics after the state’s One Nation leader doubled down on his homophobic slur.
The former federal Labor leader turned conservative political firebrand has refused to apologise after igniting widespread outrage when he tweeted a very graphic and homophobic comment targeted at openly gay independent MP Alex Greenwich on Thursday morning.
The newly-installed Labor premier on Sunday called on the Liberal Party to come to a bipartisan agreement to prevent Mr Latham from using his position in the upper house to score any additional powers in the new parliament
“We’re not going to work with him here and we’re not going to support any claim by him to chair a committee in the Legislative Council,” Mr Minns told Sky News.
“I’m not sure who’s going to lead the Liberal Party in the next few months, but I’d call on their organisation to make a similar commitment.
“I don’t think that it’s conducive to good governance and good politics in this state to have him elevated in his status as a member of the NSW upper house and I think the less platforming we give to Mark Latham, the better.”
Newly-installed NSW Premier Chris Minns has slammed Mark Latham for his homophobic tweet. Picture: NCA Newswire/ Monique Harmer
Mr Minns said Mr Latham was trying to import “US-style, Trump-style approach to politics in NSW” but was having much less success.
“In fact, One Nation is likely to go backwards as a result of the election result, so we are going to make sure there is an unambiguous and unanimous approach from the opposition against this kind of commentary,” Mr Minns said.
“He’s been condemned from nearly every political party in the state and rightly so. I think he has shown himself to be quite spiteful.”
Mr Minns had already blasted Mr Latham as a “bigot” and called on him to apologise for his “vile and shameful” comments.
Mr Latham went to ground for 24 hours after posting and then deleting the offensive remark, during which period federal One Nation leader Pauline Hanson called on him to apologise.
He broke his silence on Friday by tweeting “never apologise, never explain turns out to be right”, accompanying a link to an article claiming a new study from an Ivy-league US university that suggests “public figures who apologise are more likely to seen as needing punishment”.
Mark Latham sparked outrage with his tweet about independent MP Alex Greenwich. Picture: Gaye Gerard / NCA Newswire
Mr Latham also shared a statement with The Saturday Telegraph in which he said: “Sometimes in public life when you throw out insults they come back at you harder and truer … So boo-hoo Alex Greenwich.”
He made the original offensive tweet after Mr Greenwich was reported as having called the One Nation MP “a disgusting human being” in an article about LGBTQI+ protesters being targeted outside a church which Mr Latham spoke at during the state election campaign.
Mr Greenwich said on Friday Mr Latham’s homophobic tweet had reduced him to tears but he didn’t expect an apology nor the NSW parliament to take action.
“I would fear that any action would give him any more of a soap box, would allow him to play the victim, where he is someone who victimises people on an ongoing basis,” Mr Greenwich said.
“At a very human level I hope that he’s okay, the comments he made are obviously not comments of a well person.”
Mr Latham is expected to be one of three One Nation upper house MPs in state parliament after the final results from last weekend’s election finish trickling in.
Read related topics:Donald TrumpOne NationPauline Hanson