As political leaders were readying for their second great debate in Brisbane, they both ran into campaign trouble. They’re in damage control over the dumping of party candidates.

Adam Ashmore reports.


Liberal candidate for the seat of Lyons, Jessica Whelan, has been sacked just a day after claiming anti-Muslim posts from her were doctored.

Scott Morrison initially backed the candidate’s claims.

Scott Morrison, Prime Minister: “This matter has been referred to the Australian Federal Police.”

But it wasn’t after other derogatory posts from Ms Whelan were found.

Scott Morrison, Prime Minister: “Yesterday that information was not clear, these views were not disclosed to the Liberal Party at the time of her nomination.

The Liberals removed two other candidates after anti-Muslim and anti-gay posts were found on their social media pages.

On the Labor side, candidate Luke Creasey was in hot water for online rape jokes and anti-gay posts.

Bill Shorten, Opposition Leader: “So he has apologised deeply, and he certainly doesn’t hold those views now.”

But after mounting pressure, the Opposition Leader announced Creasey will be disendorsed and has now resigned.

It was probably a welcome respite for both leaders to fly to Brisbane for the second televised debate.

Adam Ashmore, QUT News.