- Deputy Premier
The Liberal Party must come clean on its links to right-wing extremists, following more reports that they are cosying up to members of the far-right to infiltrate and disrupt Victorian politics.
Last week convicted criminal and neo-Nazi sympathiser Neil Erikson claimed he met with prominent Liberals Andrew Hastie and Ian Goodenough – claims which were at first denied, but then shown to be true.
Mr Erikson also claimed to have flown to Queensland to take part in a conservative recruitment event for the Liberal-National Party – claims which were again first denied, but then shown to be true.
This extremist recruitment event was attended by well-known Victorian Liberal operative and State Council Delegate Elliot Watson.
The response to this extraordinary revelation has been met with deafening silence by the Victorian Liberal Party.
Unlike the LNP in Queensland, who have suspended the former Young Nationals President, David Goodwin, for attending the event, the Victorian Liberals have done nothing.
Mr Erikson’s latest claim is that he met former Victorian Liberal Leader, and the mobsters’ mate, Matthew Guy ahead of the recent Victorian state election.
While Mr Guy has denied ever meeting this far-right extremist, he has form when it comes to misleading the public.
We all remember that Mr Guy denied drinking Grange at his notorious lobster dinner with alleged mobster “Cousin” Tony Madafferi – a statement that he had to finally admit was untrue.
Mr Erikson has also claimed that people linked to the Liberal Party paid for him to interfere in the Victorian state election.
Given that the Liberal Party has been caught out lying about its dealings with far-right extremists, these are matters that Scott Morrison, Michael O’Brien and the Liberal Party must immediately address.
As noted by Deputy Premier James Merlino
“It is becoming clearer by the day that dangerous extremism is at the heart of the Liberal Party in Australia, with the drum beat at its strongest in Victoria.”
“Whether it’s extremist candidates, preference deals with One Nation and Clive Palmer, or prominent Liberals meeting convicted criminals and neo-Nazi sympathisers, Scott Morrison can’t bury his head in the sand any longer.”
“With less than two weeks before election day, it’s time the Liberals came clean – what do they know about the far-right infiltration in their party, and what are they doing about it?”