Heated scenes have erupted outside Queensland parliament with protesters confronting Katter’s n Party members and branding some of its MPs racists.
KAP federal leader and senator Bob Katter stopped a press conference to address chants of “Muslims are welcome, Anning is not” in response to KAP senator Fraser Anning’s call for a ban on Muslim immigration.
An exchange between the two groups quickly descended into a trading of barbs with state MP Shane Knuth telling the demonstrators “You’re lucky you’ve got the cameras around, mate.”
Senator Anning has refused to apologise for using the Nazi-associated phrase “final solution” during his maiden speech to parliament, saying his remarks have been taken out of context.
His comments sparked a public and political backlash that has since led to Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk axing four staffers granted to the minority party.
Ms Palaszczuk withdrew from the staffing arrangement made during the last term of government after the party refused to condemn Senator Anning.
KAP has since referred her to the Crime and Corruption Commission, saying she may have broken the law in threatening to cut its staff.
Liberal National Party Leader Deb Frecklington, Deputy Leader Tim Mander and LNP frontbencher Ann Leahy have also been referred to the CCC.
The four KAP staffers will lose their jobs on Friday but the party says it will not apologise even if it meant keeping the men employed.
“Bowing down to a blackmail like that, absolutely not,” Senator Anning said.
“They’re just two words in the English language … it was deliberately taken out of context, nothing to do with the Holocaust, they’re two words and good men fought and died for us to be able to say whatever we like.”
Mr Anning has filed a complaint with Senate President Scott Ryan to investigate whether Ms Palaszczuk has breached parliamentary privilege rules in taking action.