In an embarrassing development for independent MP Bob Katter, a senate candidate for the Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) confirmed that he has been asked to leave the party by its national director due to his support for marriage equality, on the same day he had been endorsed by the party’s founder.
ACT senatorial candidate Stephen Bailey revealed to Fairfax Media that KAP national director Aidan McLindon contacted him Friday morning and asked Bailey to reconsider his views on marriage equality and his candidacy.
McLindon confirmed to Fairfax that he had instructed Bailey to resign.
‘‘I was directed by the president to call Steven Bailey this morning to ask if he could step down of his own accord given that his position on marriage was in direct conflict with the Katter Australia Party’s core values and principles,” McLindon said.
Bailey said he wouldn’t be stepping down.
“It’s a decision the party has to make.”
Bailey’s endorsement by Katter was only announced today and it didn’t take long for the news to make waves within the KAP.
Ex-KAP member Bernard Gaynor said on his website that “I have always known Bob to be violently opposed to gay marriage’’ and that the endorsement would “cause bloodshed in every branch”.
Katter was quoted today as being supportive of diverse views within his party, particularly from young people such as 29-year-old Bailey.
“I always find talking to young people very exciting and Steven would be a very good example of that kind of person,” Katter said on 2CC radio.