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Don't marginalise Pauline Hanson again, John Howard warns

AAP logoAAP 14/09/2016

Former prime minister John Howard has warned it would be wrong to repeat the mistake of 20 years ago and try to marginalise Pauline Hanson and her supporters.

Senator Hanson caused a stir last night with her first speech declaring Australia is in danger of being swamped with Muslims - 20 years after making the same warning about Asians.

Mr Howard told ABC TV, Senator Hanson was entitled to be treated in a respectful fashion by the rest of parliament.

"In relation to Pauline Hanson, the mistake that was made 20 years ago of trying to demonise her and demonise her supporters should not be repeated," Mr Howard said.

John Howard says Pauline Hanson is entitled to be treated in a respectful fashion. © AAP Image/Mick Tsikas John Howard says Pauline Hanson is entitled to be treated in a respectful fashion. He argued that people who voted for Senator Hanson were not racists or bigots and did not vote for her because of their views on immigration.

"They voted for her because they're unhappy with the mainstream political parties," Mr Howard said.

"A form of disillusionment or protest vote, yes."

It reflected poorly on the Greens that they walked out early, he said.

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