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Lib's Aly campaign 'not right': Barnett

AAP logoAAP 17/08/2016

Criticism by senior Liberals of Labor MP Anne Aly during the federal election campaign were inappropriate and backfired, WA Premier Colin Barnett says.

When Ms Aly was running as a candidate for the WA seat of Cowan, Justice Minister Michael Keenan said the counter-terrorism expert had shown bad judgment by penning a letter that helped reduce the sentence of self-styled preacher Junaid Thorne.

Former prime minister John Howard supported the comments, which Ms Aly labelled a smear campaign.

On Wednesday, Mr Barnett said he didn't agree with the tactics.

"She strikes me as a very decent person," he told reporters.

"I don't think that campaign tactic was the right thing to do.

"It didn't work - if anything it backfired."

While Mr Barnett didn't believe an apology was necessary, he said she could raise the matter herself if she felt aggrieved.

Labor's campaign in WA wasn't without controversy, with Swan candidate Tammy Solonec labelling her rival, Liberal Steve Irons, a "rich white man".

Mr Irons retained his seat.

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