The row between Sarah Hanson-Young and David Leyonhjelm doesn’t look as if it will be resolved anytime soon, as the Senator for New South Wales has now penned an article about his feelings towards the Greens representative.
Leyonhjelm, 66, wrote an article for the Sydney Morning Herald on Thursday in which he described Hanson-Young as his opponent and said it is his job to prevent her from achieving her political goals.
Addressing calls for him to use more “polite language”, the Liberal Democrat said: “For those who have called on me to use polite language with my work colleagues and treat them with respect, rest assured that I do. But let me be clear: Senator Sarah Hanson-Young is not my work colleague; she is my opponent. If I can inhibit her from achieving her political goals I will.
“We face off in the Senate chamber just as bitter enemies face off on opposing sides in a court. Proceedings in parliament are meant to be heated. It is my role to ruthlessly tear down the other side’s case using all the tools of argument. On the odd occasion I will get worked up .”
“Many of those who call on parliamentarians to be more courteous towards each other also call on them to agree with each other,” he added. “So when the Greens respond to violence in our streets and our homes with a catch-all call for men to respect women, I will instead go after the individual perpetrators and support the right of would-be victims to be allowed to defend themselves.”
Leyonhjelm’s column is just the latest punch to be thrown in the ongoing dispute between the two rival Senators and comes just days after Hanson-Young was criticised for taking her 11-year-old daughter Kora onto Channel Ten’s The Project to give an interview on the topic.
The deeply personal debate between the pair broke out after Hanson-Young addressed the Senate about Leyonhjelm’s alleged sexist comments on June 28, and said: “Earlier today, during the motion relating to violence against women, Senator Leyonhjelm yelled an offensive and sexist slur at me from across the chamber. After the vote on the motion was complete, I walked over to the senator and confronted him directly.
“I asked whether I had heard him correctly. He confirmed that he had yelled, ‘You should stop shagging men, Sarah.’ Shocked, I told him that he was a creep. His reply was to tell me to ‘f… off’. I informed the leader of the Greens, and he has raised it with both Senator Leyonhjelm and the President.
“I am disappointed that the senator has refused to apologise for this offensive and sexist slur, and I call on him to formally withdraw and apologise directly.”
Hanson-Young also recently confirmed that she would be taking legal action against Leyonhjelm, suing for defamation, and an online crowdfunding campaign was launched to cover the costs of the legal battle, which has so far raised in excess of $59,000.
While Leyonhjelm retaliated by launching his own campaign to raise cash for what he described as a “war chest against the Greens”. He asked for donations to ” fight the Greens and their toxic unhinged ideology” and has so far raised around $24,000.