Greens’ push to censure David Leyonhjelm
Posted on 09/13/18 6:52 PM
The Australian Greens will move a motion in the Senate to censure David Leyonhjelm.The Australian Greens will try to censure independent senator David Leyonhjelm for telling Sarah Hanson-Young on the floor of parliament to “stop shagging men”.
Greens leader Richard Di Natale on Monday confirmed the minor party would push ahead with the move as Senator Hanson-Young sues Senator Leyonhjelm for defamation over comments in subsequent media interviews.
Senator Di Natale labelled the Liberal Democrats senator’s comments as disgraceful.
“It was designed to humiliate and to intimidate a fellow senator,” he told parliament on Monday.
“The men who use sexism to belittle or intimidate women should never be tolerated in a decent society let alone this parliament.”
Senate President Scott Ryan vowed to take a strict stance on appropriate language to “uphold the dignity of the chamber”, but couldn’t sanction or force Senator Leyonhjelm to apologise.
“This is rightly a place of vigorous debate, but personal abuse has no place in this chamber, particularly if it targets personal attributes such as race or gender,” Senator Ryan said.
Labor Senate leader Penny Wong backed the Senate president’s remarks.
“We are capable of debate without resorting to the sorts of labels and comments that we have witnessed,” she said.
She indicated the opposition would consider supporting the censure motion.
Independent senator Derryn Hinch said he saw Senator Hanson-Young in tears after the incident in June.
“Senator Leyonhjelm should hang his head in shame and I’ll support any censure motion that Senator Di Natale puts forward,” Senator Hinch said.
Senator Leyonhjelm, from NSW, told Senator Hanson-Young she should “stop shagging men”, during a debate on creating safer conditions for women.
When she confronted him, he told her to “f*** off”.
Senator Leyonhjelm claimed he was responding to her saying something of the lines of “all men are rapists”, which she later denied.