George Christensen slammed for ‘gobsmacking’ appearance on Alex Jones show

Helena BurkeNCA NewsWire
Not Supplied
Camera IconNot Supplied Credit: News Corp Australia

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has revealed he made two calls to rogue Nationals MP George Christensen from London in the wake of his controversial InfoWars interview.

Mr Christensen has been blasted by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and other members of his own side after his inflammatory interview with the far-right US conspiracy theorist.

He has frequently railed against the Covid-19 vaccines and public health restrictions imposed in the name of public safety throughout the pandemic.

During an interview with Alex Jones, best known for his role at InfoWars, Mr Christensen urged people living abroad to rise up against the Australian government.

He also laughed as the host, Mr Jones, compared Australia’s quarantine facilities with the Auschwitz concentration camp.

“The rest of the free world, please stand with us, please support us,” Mr Christensen said.

“Every time we see people out there protesting, whether it be in front of an embassy or elsewhere, protesting for our rights in Australia, it really does embolden the patriots, the people who are for freedom in our country to stand up.”

Camera IconGeorge Christensen in parliament. Gary Ramage/NCA NewsWire Credit: News Corp Australia

Mr Christensen’s comments have been condemned by the Prime Minister and several of his National Party colleagues, including Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce.

”Any parallel of domestic policy with the abomination which was the holocaust requires an immediate rebuke,” Mr Joyce, who is currently travelling abroad, said on Tuesday night.

He said he had called Mr Christensen twice “in the night” and suggested he reflect on his behaviour.

He panned Mr Christensen’s decision to appear with Mr Jones, who has previously claimed the Sandy Hook school shooting - where 26 people, including 20 young children, were killed - was a hoax involving actors.

“This platform is at times toxic, dangerous and incendiary,” Mr Joyce said.

“I have asked Mr Christensen to be far more aware of any platform he speaks on and to ask himself of the history of those platforms and if participation on it is wise.”

The Deputy Prime Minister also called on Mr Christensen to consider whether his comments served any purpose, “or merely provide ammunition for politics, for which he has now provided ample”.

But Labor wants stronger action taken, saying the renegade backbencher is putting Australian diplomats in harm’s way.

“George Christensen is a repeat offender with this sort of behaviour,” Labor frontbencher Tanya Plibersek said.

“What he is doing is borderline treasonous.”

Ms Plibersek said it was shocking more hadn’t been done to stop Mr Christensen’s poor behaviour.

“It is really extraordinary that an elected member of the Australian parliament should be urging citizens of a foreign countries to protest against Australia in this way,” she said.

“It is up to the Prime Minister to pull him into line.

“It is beyond me why Scott Morrison is not prepared to do that.”

Camera IconGeorge Christensen appeared on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’s online show and urging people to rise up against the Australian government. NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage Credit: News Corp Australia
Picture: Alex Jones / InfoWars
Camera IconAlex Jones infamously claimed that the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in 2012 was a hoax, insisting the children who died were actors. InfoWars Credit: Supplied

Mr Morrison did eventually break his silence on Tuesday evening.

“I denounce the comments in the strongest possible terms,” Mr Morrison said.

“The Holocaust was an evil abomination. Respect for the victims requires that it never be referenced in such a trivial and insensitive manner.”

But the reprimands from the Prime Minister and others appeared to have little impact.

Mr Christensen reacted defiantly to the outrage over his interview, describing the criticism as “political elitist handwringing” and “hyperventilation”. In a post on Telegram, the words “fake news” were also mentioned.

Camera IconTanya Plibersek said she was ‘gobsmacked’ by Mr Christianson’s behaviour. NCA NewsWire / James Gourley Credit: News Corp Australia

Mr Christensen is on track to retire at the next election.

The government has been reluctant to criticise his serial lapses, out of fear it could trigger a byelection in his North Queensland seat of Dawson.

The Coalition holds power by a slim margin and losing a seat could plunge them into minority government.

Instead, it appears the strategy is to allow Mr Christensen to broadly say and do what he likes, rap him over the knuckles when he goes too far, and allow him to go quietly into retirement.

But there are concerns this approach could embolden Mr Christensen to express offensive views and create a distraction for the government.

Originally published as George Christensen slammed for ‘gobsmacking’ appearance on Alex Jones show

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