WESTERN Australian Labor Senator Louise Pratt has conceded defeat in the recent WA Senate re-election; but not before labelling her replacement as “deeply homophobic”.
“It is a blow to progressive voters that I would be replaced in the Senate by someone who I have known for many years to be deeply homophobic, to be anti-choice, and has recently emerged disloyal to the very party he has been elected to represent,” Pratt told media in Perth.
She added that being placed behind Bullock on the Senate ticket for WA meant she felt like she had “every day of campaigning with my arms tied behind my back”.
Pratt said that a deal between the conservative and influential Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) and United Voice was what left her in the number two spot and that this showed the ALP needed reform when it came to its ties with union groups.
“The leadership of the SDA have consistently used their bloc to preselect members of Parliament who are anti-marriage equality and who are anti-choice. And I do not believe that this reflects the views of the membership,” she said.
Last week, United Voice WA secretary Carolyn Smith said they no longer viewed Bullock as fit to represent the ALP in the Senate, and there were calls for Bullock to step down after it was revealed he had made homophobic comments during a speech to a Christian organisation late last year.
However, Bullock refused to resign but he apologised to Pratt for calling her a “poster boy” for LGBTI rights in the speech.