Mark Latham has announced that he will join Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party as its New South Wales branch leader.
Latham will run for the upper house at the next NSW election, citing “divisive identity politics” and “political correctness” as factors in his decision to return to politics, ABC News reported.
Hanson, for her part, is no stranger to supporting candidates within her party who have publicly made homophobic and transphobic comments on top of their support for her party’s nationalist stance on immigration.
In 2015 Latham resigned as a columnist with the Australian Financial Review after publicly criticising 2015 Australian of the Year Rosie Batty, and intentionally misgendering Cate McGregor on Twitter.
In March last year, he lost his job as a presenter on Sky News‘ Outsiders program after a series of controversial remarks, including calling a high school student gay and questioning the student’s sexuality.
“The truth is in Australia we’ve got just 47,000 same-sex couples, so why the big national debate? The big national obsession in the political system with same-sex marriage?” he said.
The former federal Labor leader also stated during the postal survey that trans people should be explicitly excluded from marriage equality legislation, tweeting, “I support gay marriage but not state-approved gender fluidity.”
At this year’s Gay and Lesbian Outrageous, Ridiculous, and Ignorant (GLORIA) awards, Latham was nominated for comments made during the marriage equality campaign about an LGBTI “reign of terror”, in an opinion piece where he said he feared people who did not “worship at the altar of homosexuality and gender fluidity” would be “run out of town”.
Perhaps most notably, however, was the time Latham and a cadre of No campaigners – including Miranda Devine and Lyle Shelton – fell off the stage at a marriage equality forum.
“We will not preference One Nation candidates anywhere in NSW. I challenge the Liberals and the Nationals to make the same commitment,” NSW Labor leader Luke Foley tweeted in response to the announcement.
Hanson and Latham’s double act hit something of a snag earlier today, when Hanson was left stranded on Studio 10 when Latham failed to show up.
Latham last year joined the Liberal Democrats, and has spent recent months teasing a return to politics.