Australian Senator Fraser Anning has lashed out at Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison over saying that the politician should "be subject to the full force of the law" for his altercation with teenager William Connolly, aka "Egg Boy”. Anning struck the young man after the latter attacked him with an egg over his comment about the NZ mosque shootings; however, police have announced no charges after an investigation.
"It might have only been an idiot with an egg this time, but there is a continuum that begins with this and ends with a fanatic with a gun or a bomb…But apparently, according to Prime Minister Morrison, that's OK, as long as the victims are conservatives”, Anning noted.
The 69-year-old senator was also earlier condemned by fellow lawmakers for striking Connolly with Senator Simon Birmingham blasted the politician for “lack of humanity.”
His colleagues also censured the senator over his comments on the deadly shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, where 50 people were killed after a self-described “fascist” opened fire in two mosques.
Government and opposition lawmakers put forth a motion against the politician over his remarks that they are "seeking to attribute blame to victims of a horrific crime and to vilify people on the basis of religion, which do not reflect the opinions of the Australian Senate or the Australian people”. The motion was supported by the majority of lawmakers with one voice against it and three others abstaining, including Anning himself and his former fellow members of the right-leaning party One Nation.
Anning, who is now an independent lawmaker, criticised the move against him as an attack on free speech.
"It is also an exercise in left-wing virtue signaling of the worst kind”, he stated before the vote on the matter in the Senate.
One Nation’s head Pauline Hanson sent the Senate an address saying that while Anning's remarks were "untimely and therefore deemed highly insensitive, he still maintains a right to his opinion”.
"If One Nation endorses your action to censure Senator Anning, your freedom of speech as elected members of this chamber will be removed”, the statement read.
The censure, which does not have any binding consequences, e.g. expulsion, is viewed as an official condemnation, according to the BBC. In addition to the censure, the Greens party tried to put forth a motion to suspend Anning from the Senate, but failed to win support for the measure. According to Senate President Scott Ryan such a suspension could be legally challenged.
Fraser Anning came under fire after he blamed the deadly Christchurch shootings on immigration policies.
"The real cause of bloodshed on New Zealand streets today is the immigration program that allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place”, he said, prompting condemnation in Australia and neighbouring New Zealand.
The country’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called his remarks "a disgrace”, while her deputy Winston Peters branded the senator a "jingoistic moron”.