Offensive emails containing false claims about independent Wentworth MP Dr Kerryn Phelps have been referred to authorities for investigation ahead of the federal election.
The emails reportedly contain homophobic and racist content, along with claims that Phelps is ineligible to sit in parliament, according to news.com.au.
“We’ve asked the [Australian Federal Police] to look into it again. They couldn’t get to the bottom of the last one. This one is a step up in terms of content from the previous one.”
A representative for Phelps added that the claims in the emails are “utterly false and offensive”.
Liberal candidate Dave Sharma called the emails “ridiculous” and “paranoid”, while criticising their anti-minority content.
“They feel kind of like white nationalist dog whistling attacking all sorts of minorities. I don’t know who’s responsible for them,” Sharma said.
“It’s unfortunate it exists. We should report them to the police but we shouldn’t give these people more oxygen than they deserve. It’s what they want—a platform.”
Phelps yesterday wrote to the Australian Federal Police requesting an update on their investigation, concerned about potential impact on the upcoming election, The Guardian reported.
“The content of the emails is very disturbing,” she wrote.
“The emails equate to an incitement to hatred and we all know what the consequences of that can be. Whichever individual or group is responsible is trying to influence the outcome of an election and I think they should be investigated and brought to justice.
“I remain frustrated that the investigation appears to have stalled and politely request that the AFP step up its efforts with election day fast approaching.”