Labor MP accused of making a homophobic slur in parliament
LABOR MP Walt Secord has been accused of making a homophobic slur against openly gay Liberal Don Harwin in the NSW upper house.
Harwin was about to answer a question from a Labor when Secord interjected, saying: “Is this lady for turning? Is this lady for turning?”
The line alluded to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s famous declaration, and some members perceived it as homophobic.
Thatcher coined the catchphrase ‘the lady’s not for turning’ in the eighties, referring to her refusal to buckle to opponents of her economic politics.
According to a report by Fairfax, several members of the legislative council were taken aback by the comment which was met by a low roar in the chamber.
“I heard it and I thought it was petty and homophobic,” Liberal member Shayne Mallard said.
Independent MP Alex Greenwich said the remarks were ‘appalling’.
“The comments are offensive, unnecessary, and archaic, and have no place in a modern and inclusive parliament,” he said.
Secord responded to the claims by saying his comments were intended for the Premier, not Harwin, and that he regretted any misunderstanding otherwise.
“I regret any misunderstanding as the joke was directed at the Premier,” he said.
“For the record, I was one of the few MPs to march in last year’s Mardi Gras.”