NSW Treasurer Matt Kean has renewed his call for the Liberal Party candidate to be disendorsed in the federal seat of Warringah, saying she is not fit for office. Kean said he was very concerned that Katherine Deves' candidacy threatened the re-election of moderate Liberal MPs at next month's federal election.
Ms Deves has been under scrutiny after a series of social media posts in which she made controversial comments about transgender people came to light and was published in the media.
The lawyer from Sydney's northern beaches called transgender children surgically mutilated and sterilised, and claimed half of men who transitioned were sex offenders.
Ms Deves apologised for the language she used but has received the backing of Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
My language has been unacceptable in my dedication to fighting for the rights of women and girls. Ms Deves said it had hurt people and detracted from my arguments.
This morning, Mr Kean told RN Breakfast he believed Ms Deves should be disbanded immediately and labelled some of her comments as outright bigotry, I do not believe she is fit for office. He said that he does not believe that she is aligned with the values of the Liberal Party.
Mr Kean pointed out a number of posts including one comparing a legal case overseas involving a transgender child to the grudge trials of the Third Reich. Comparing this issue to one of the worst atrocities in human history is appalling, absolutely disgraceful, he said.
We live in a cosmopolitan, multicultural society where people are free to be themselves and that is a fundamental tenant of liberalism.
Kean, a member of the Liberal's moderate faction, believes that the controversy threatens the political fortunes of moderate federal government MPs Dave Sharma and Trent Zimmerman.
Both Mr Sharma and Mr Zimmerman have to face challenges by independent candidates in their inner-Sydney electorates of Wentworth and North Sydney.
He said that having candidates who want to spruik the politics of division is not in the interests of the party or in the interests of those people candidates.
Mr Morrison defended Ms Deves, saying her concerns about transgender women in women's sport were common sense and hit out at what he called a pile-on of criticism.
Former prime ministers Tony Abbott and John Howard, who previously sat in Warringah, supported Ms Deves' candidacy.