Senator Fraser Anning was strongly criticised for comments he made following Friday’s attack, including a statement that read: “The real cause of bloodshed on New Zealand streets today is the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place.”
Television cameras caught a 17-year-old boy breaking an egg on the independent senator’s head and briefly scuffling with Mr Anning while he was holding a news conference in Melbourne on Saturday morning.
The footage appeared to show the politician throwing a couple of punches at the teenager before some of Mr Anning’s supporters wrestled the boy to the ground.
Video later shared by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation journalist Paul Barry showed the teen being carried away by the politician’s backers in a headlock.
A Victoria Police statement said the 17-year-old was arrested, but was released without charge pending further enquires.
Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison was among the leading figures who condemned statements made by the right-wing senator, describing them as “disgusting”. Mr Morrison said: “Those views have no place in Australia, let alone the Australian parliament.”
The statements were also denounced by UK home secretary Sajid Javid, who tweeted: “Australians will be utterly ashamed of this racist man. In no way does he represent our Australian friends.”
Mr Anning, who currently sits in the Australian Senate as an independent, entered the chamber by an unusual route.
Despite getting just 19 first preference votes during the 2016 federal election, he was chosen by the One Nation party to replace former senator Malcolm Roberts, who was declared invalid by the country’s High Court last year because of his dual citizenship.
The anti-immigration politician then switched to Katter’s Australian Party (KAP), but was thrown out because his views on immigration were deemed too extreme.
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