Liberals must act on Whelan AFP revelations

Media reports today that Jessica Whelan failed to refer her serious allegations of social media tampering to the Australian Federal Police are damning, and demonstrate she has no place running for public office.

Prior to the May 19 federal election Ms Whelan, at the time the Liberal candidate for the federal seat of Lyons, claimed she did not make statements on social media that had been published by her Facebook account.

The statements included calls for women to be genitally mutilated and trafficked.

Following the furore, Ms Whelan was disendorsed by the Liberals as a candidate, but remained a member of the Liberal Party. Ms Whelan publicly maintained she did not make the statements, and that tampering claims had been referred to the AFP for investigation.

Reports published today reveal the existence of emails between the AFP and Ms Whelan, demonstrating she did not provide the AFP with the log-in details they needed to investigate her allegations. As a result, the AFP dropped its investigation.

“Jess Whelan claimed her house had been robbed and then failed to let the police in to investigate,” said Brian Mitchell, the federal Labor MP for Lyons. “It doesn’t pass the sniff test.

“The only reasonable conclusion to be drawn, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, is that statements from Jess Whelan’s Facebook account calling for genital mutilation of women were made by Jess Whelan.

“Anyone calling for acts of violence to be perpetrated against women has no place running for public office in Australia. The Liberal Party must now confirm it will never pre-select Ms Whelan for public office again.