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Liberal candidate pulls out after racy web past comes back to haunt
The Liberal Party will not field NSW Charlton candidate Kevin Baker, who fell on his sword today after it emerged he had run a website containing offensive and sexist material, including references to child abuse, incest and domestic violence.
Baker, who is a director of the health charity Heartkids NSW and former Australian Apprentice of the Year, came under growing pressure today from Labor MPs to put a halt to his candidacy after media reports suggested he had run an online forum for Mini Cooper car enthusiasts and which as its moderator had allowed and laughed along with sexist and racist comments, jokes about sexual abuse and links to pornography. According to reports, Baker had also referred to some of the comments as only being “tit-banter”.
In one post, Baker wrote about a joke involving a “dishy blonde” with him referencing a “stripper on my bucks night that I shagged on the pool table in front of all my mates while your mate whipped me with some wet celery and stuck a cucumber up my a…e?”
“I understand that while my name will still appear on the ballot paper, my campaign is over,” Baker said in a statement this evening.
“I deeply regret the posts made on my website and decided that it was not appropriate to continue as the Party’s candidate.”
The Liberal Party will not be able to field a candidate against Labor’s Pat Conroy in the electorate after the deadline for nominations passed.
Baker says he advised the NSW State Director of the Liberal Party this afternoon that he had decided to withdraw from the campaign. Coalition leader Tony Abbott had earlier declined to comment on whether he would cut Baker from his election team.
“He has done the wrong thing, absolutely done the wrong thing,” Abbott told reporters this morning .
Labor Senator Penny Wong told reporters in Melbourne that Baker’s fate was a question for Abbott’s leadership.
“He needs to make it clear if elected he [Baker] will never sit in the party room.”
The offensive website has since been taken down.