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Dutton urges voters to dump Senator Fraser Anning

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Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has urged voters to dump independent senator Fraser Anning, who has been branded a disgrace for blaming the Christchurch mosque massacre on Muslim immigration.

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The Morrison government and the opposition have rejected calls to change laws to allow politicians to be expelled from federal parliament after the issue was raised by the Greens.

Instead, Dutton believes voters will have their say at the election, due by May, to show Anning, who was elected in 2017 and represents Queensland in the upper house, what they think about his widely condemned comments.

“People can express their view freely and respectfully at the ballot box and I think that is the strongest possible message that can be sent,” the minister, who also hails from Queensland, told Nine Network today.

“Anybody who seeks to make a political opportunity out of a tragedy like this is right to be condemned.”

The government and Labor will move a censure motion condemning Anning’s comments when parliament resumes next month for the budget sitting.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale wants the parliament to go further.

“We are exploring all options, including amending section 8 of the Privileges Act to allow members of parliament to be expelled by their fellow MPs,” Di Natale told The Australian.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Anning should face the “full force of the law” after he reacted violently to a teenage boy who allegedly cracked an egg on the back of his head.

NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Anning’s comments were a “disgrace”.

Anning was roundly condemned after invoking the phrase “final solution” in his first speech to parliament – a term linked to the Holocaust.

He also was slammed for attending a far-right rally in Melbourne where participants made Nazi salutes.

Muslim Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi said Anning has been making disgraceful comments for some time.

“I don’t want to spend a second talking about Senator Fraser Anning,” she told ABC radio.

“I think the people will have their say and boot him out as the next election.”

However, Queensland senator Pauline Hanson will abstain from voting to censure Anning, a former member of her One Nation party, because she says it won’t “prove a damn thing”.

In a fiery face-off on morning television with fellow crossbencher Derryn Hinch, Hanson downplayed her past connection to Anning, who now sits as an independent.

“For you to say that is absolutely disgusting,” she told Seven’s Sunrise when asked if she had picked Anning to run for One Nation because of his white supremacist views.

“No, I didn’t pick him because of that.”

Anning attended a gun show in Ipswich on Sunday, two days after 50 people were killed in the horrific Christchurch attack.

An Australian man, Brenton Tarrant, 27, from Grafton in NSW, has been charged with one count of murder, so far, over the shooting in Christchurch, which resulted in the deaths of 50 people.

-AAP

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