A war of words has erupted between a former One Nation state branch leader and gay performer Brendan Maclean on social media platform Twitter, after comments Maclean posted during last night’s Q&A program on the ABC.
One Nation Victoria former president John Groves used homophobic slurs in response to Maclean’s posts during Monday’s episode of the current affairs panel show.
“Last night, after Q&A, he messaged me saying I was a ‘poofter prick’ and that I had ‘shit for brains’, but that’s not a surprise looking through his Twitter account,” Maclean told the Star Observer.
Grove came under fire for remarks on Twitter in August last year, when he made controversial comments defending Family First’s Wendy Francis, tweeting: “U have a backer in me, love to do some Poofter Bashing from time too [sic] time.”
His comments to Maclean were still clearly visible on his account this afternoon. Maclean called One Nation’s Victorian branch after the comments were published, to see if they reflected the views of his party and was told Groves was speaking personally and not on behalf of One Nation.
“Usually I have a pretty thick skin about stuff like this, but I just saw it a few too many times and I thought I’d follow it up,” Maclean said.
One Nation Victoria secretary Pat Loy told the Star Observer that Groves’ views in no way reflected those of the party.
“He’s going to be told to take all references to One Nation off his silly Twitter thing, because he’s not speaking for the party. These are not the views of the party,” she said.
Maclean said he also received calls from the One Nation branch in NSW, seeking to distance themselves from the insults. But Loy said the party was not looking to revoke Groves’ membership.
“We’re not going to remove him as a member at this stage, but he will definitely be reined in for his comments,” she said.
Loy said that Groves’ resignation as president late last year had nothing to do with his ongoing controversial presence on Twitter, but was due to health issues.
“Our membership is made up of all nationalities and as far as this homophobic view of John’s goes, if ever a policy was put out by One Nation about homosexuality, I’d walk away from the party. We also have homosexuals in the party,” Loy said.