An Australian politician has been widely criticised for a "disgusting" rant in the wake of a terror attack that claimed the lives of 49 people .
Senator Fraser Anning tried to claim the massacre of mosque worshippers in New Zealand was the result of the country’s immigration policy allowing ‘Muslim fanatics’ in.
The gunman who livestreamed the shocking killings on social media is a white 28-year-old Australian, and a self-confessed racist.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid was among those who slammed Anning for the shocking comments.
The MP wrote on Twitter: "At a time for grieving and reflection, this Australian senator fraser_anning fans the flames of violence & extremism.
"Australians will be utterly ashamed of this racist man. In no way does he represent our Australian friends."
The Australian senator released this statement
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Senator Anning’s comments appeared in a statement posted to Twitter just hours after the killings.
“I am utterly opposed to any form of violence within our community, and I totally condemn the actions of the gunman,” he wrote.
“However, while this kind of violent vigilantism can never be justified, what it highlights is the growing fear within our community, both in Australia and New Zealand, of the increasing Muslim presence.
“The real cause of bloodshed on New Zealand streets today is the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place.”
At least 49 people died in the massacre
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Anning, who is senator for Queensland, later deleted the statement from his Twitter account but continued to defend his comments.
The 69-year-old independent politician is known for his extreme views on immigration and gay and lesbian rights.
He was previously a representative for the right-wing One Nation Party, headed by senator Pauline Hanson.
Politicians in Australia and New Zealand branded his comments as "disgusting".
Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison said: "The remarks by Senator Fraser Anning blaming the murderous attacks by a violent, right-wing, extremist terrorist in New Zealand on immigration are disgusting.
"Those views have no place in Australia, let alone the Australian Parliament."
Scene of the attack in New Zealand
Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull wrote: "Fraser Anning’s comments today are contemptible.
"He is a disgrace to the Senate and what is worse by spreading hatred and turning Australians against each other he is doing exactly what the terrorists want."
Social media users have also strongly condemned his remarks, with many saying they had reported the posts to Twitter.
Gidget wrote: "You are hateful. The people who lost their lives today lost them by the hand of people who share your ideology. You have no right being in the senate."
Another Twitter commenter added: “Fraser Anning is a bad person in his heart. Just a nasty, ugly waste of human life.”
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