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Scott Morrison denounces comments made by George Christensen on conspiracy theorist's show

ABC NEWS logo ABC NEWS 7/12/2021
Labor had called for the Prime Minister to rein Mr Christensen in. (ABC News: Tamara Penniket) © Provided by ABC NEWS Labor had called for the Prime Minister to rein Mr Christensen in. (ABC News: Tamara Penniket)

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has denounced comments made by George Christensen on an American conspiracy theorist's online show after fellow government members called for the rogue MP to be pulled into line.

Mr Christensen, who is retiring at the next election, has been a frequent and vocal critic of pandemic controls, prolifically posting on social media to voice his opposition to lockdowns and vaccinations.

His latest comments were featured on the Infowars web series hosted by far-right American conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who has been largely banned from social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube for violating hate speech policies. 

In one instance, Mr Christensen laughed when Jones compared Australian COVID-19 quarantine facilities with Auschwitz because they both had "big fences".

In a statement, Mr Morrison said he denounced the comments "in the strongest possible terms".

"The Holocaust was an evil abomination," he said.

"Respect for the victims requires that it never be referenced in such a trivial and insensitive manner."

Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce, who is in the UK at the moment, said he had been made aware of Mr Christensen's comments.

"Accordingly I have contacted him twice in the night to affirm that any parallel of domestic policy with the abomination which was the Holocaust requires an immediate rebuke," he said.

"Additionally, I have come to the view that this current platform is at times toxic, dangerous and incendiary.

"I have asked Mr Christensen to be far more aware of any platform he speaks on and to ask himself of the history of those platforms and if participation on it is wise, whether the subject matter is inflammatory, is it the truth, [or] of any purpose in Australia or merely ammunition for politics, for which he has now provided ample."

Last month Mr Christensen used a speech in federal parliament to liken state and territory COVID-19 restrictions to the totalitarian regimes of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, calling for civil disobedience as a response.

During his 35-minute interview with Jones, the backbencher also urged viewers to protest outside Australian embassies.

At one point, Jones described footage of the police presence at anti-vaccination protests around the country as the "Australian version of Tiananmen Square", a 1989 massacre where the People's Liberation Army of China opened fire on unarmed protesters.

Mr Christensen replied: "Yeah, I think that the good news is though that we have that many citizen journalists at the moment … getting the truth out to people."

PM urged to pull MP into line

Nationals MP and former party leader Michael McCormack labelled Mr Christensen's comments "reprehensible" and said the MP was becoming "embarrassing" for the party. 

"I think George needs to be pulled into line and needs to be told that these comments are not acceptable," he said.  

"He chose to rubbish our country on the world stage and for that I think he should be condemned."

Labor frontbencher Tanya Plibersek went further, describing Mr Christensen's remarks as "borderline treasonous".

"It is really extraordinary that an elected member of the Australian Parliament should be urging citizens of foreign countries to protest against Australia in this way," she said. 

"I think it is up to the Prime Minister to pull him into line."

As well as Mr Christensen, Adelaide government senator Alex Antic, who is refusing to vote with the government until it acts to end state-based vaccine mandates, also appeared on former Trump adviser Steve Bannon's web show.

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Video: Prime Minister condemns George Christensen's behaviour on conspiracy theorist show (ABC NEWS)


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