'Appalling': PM condemns alleged attack at Anning event
A 19-YEAR-old man has been arrested after an alleged assault on a Daily Telegraph photographer and an altercation with a NewsLocal reporter in Cronulla this morning.
The incident happened at Senator Fraser Anning's press conference at Dunningham Park in Cronulla to announce his candidate for Cook, Peter Kelly.
A video of the incident shows the man, wearing an unbuttoned blue shirt and black undershirt, in a violent confrontation with the Telegraph photographer Dylan Robinson, throwing at least two punches and ripping his shirt.
Mr Anning chose the provocative location where the Cronulla riots took place in 2005 to make the Conservative National Party candidate announcement for the seat held by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who has today condemned the alleged attack.
It is understood some of Mr Anning's supporters were heckling journalists during the conference, before the alleged offender made a derogatory remark to St George Shire Standard reporter Eliza Barr.
It is understood plain clothed police officers were monitoring the event, before they swooped in and arrested the young man. He was then taken to Sutherland Police Station.
Mr Anning was not in the vicinity but waiting on the opposite side of the park when the alleged attack happened.
His spokesperson said Mr Anning would address the alleged assault at his press conference in Brisbane at 3.30pm today.
Meanwhile, he tweeted: "The people of Cronulla and NSW are very concerned about Muslim immigration and they have every right to. My party will ban all Muslim and Black immigration and ensure safety for Australians once more."
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has today condemned the Anning supporter.
Mr Morrison said there was no place for that behaviour in Australian politics and added it was issues such as these that confirmed the decision as the right one for the Liberal Party to preference Mr Anning's Conservative Party last at the May 18 Federal Election.
"That type of behaviour has no place in Australia, that type of violence that we've seen today, and I'm glad our local police and security people down in the Shire have taken that matter into hand and there's no place for that in Australian politics," Mr Morrison said.
"People should be able to go to work whether a photographer or anyone else and not be subjected to that sort of violence and I find it absolutely appalling and he is placed last on my ticket and my party's ticket."
Flynn Nationals MP Ken O'Dowd said the actions of the supporter meant he was also now putting that Senator's party last on his how to vote card.
"Fraser Anning, after the antics today, and we've discussed it at levels, and we're putting Fraser Anning last followed by the Greens and Labor at third last," Mr O'Dowd said.
Senator Cory Bernardi later told Sky News: "There's no excuse for violence in political campaigning. I'm never going to condone that.
"Fraser Anning, his policy agenda is not my cup of tea at all. I've seen him chase some rabbits down some very dark burrows."
But Bernadi indicated he would not preference Anning's candidates last, instead reserving that spot for either the Communist Party or the Greens.
"The Labor Party once again say, you've got to put One Nation last. You've got to put Fraser Anning last. You can't put both of them last. You've got to choose between them," he said.
"I would put the Communist Party last, I would put the Greens last, because I think they're absolutely dangerous."
But LNP MP Michelle Landry left her Twitter followers in no doubt: "I abhor what Fraser Anning stands for and his candidate will be placed last on my how-to-vote cards."
The incident comes one month after Mr Anning twice slapped 17-year-old Will Connolly, who had cracked an egg on his head, before Anning supporters rushed to his aid.
The teenager was then wrestled to the ground and held there by Mr Anning's far-right wing supporters - which included convicted criminal Neil Erickson - despite pleas to let the boy go as he was not resisting.
While Connolly was being held on the ground, he was approached by a number of angry men, then kicked in the body a number of times.
Mr Anning has said he had no regrets about his reaction to the egging as he had been defending himself.
"I don't regret anything I do," he said. "I defended myself. That's what Australians do usually, they defend themselves … he got a slap across the face which is what his mother should have given him a long time ago because he's been misbehaving badly."
The incident followed remarks from Mr Anning blaming Muslim migrants for the New Zealand terror attack in which a white supremacist killed 50 worshippers in mosques.
His attempt to stir controversy following the Christchurch massacre was widely condemned in parliament earlier this month.
Senator Anning was accused of blaming the victims, who were gunned down while attending services at two mosques, by a right-wing extremist.
"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," Senator Anning wrote in a media release at the time.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann dubbed his remarks "inflammatory", "divisive", "appalling" and "dangerous", saying: "The Australian people rightly expect this parliament stand in solidarity with our New Zealand cousins following the monstrous attack in Christchurch, which is absolutely right to censure Senator Anning and anyone else within our community who seeks to use horrific tragedy like this one as an opportunity to vilify and divide people based on their religious belief."
Labor frontbencher Penny Wong said it was a "shameful and pathetic attempt by a bloke who has never been elected to get attention by exploiting diversity".
- Additional reporting Claire Bickers with AAP