Labor Candidate Luke Creasey Resigns Over Social Media Posts
Labor's Luke Creasey has withdrawn as his party's candidate for Melbourne over a series of offensive comments on social media.
Creasey, 29, was forced to apologise earlier this week after it was revealed he shared rape jokes and made offensive remarks about women online about seven years ago.
At midday on Friday, Labor leader Bill Shorten said he wanted a "full brief" of information relating to Creasey's online history after further posts emerged.
By 1:30pm, Creasey announced he was resigning, adding to a list of candidates who have quit over inappropriate comments.
"It is clear the right thing for me to do is stand down," he said in a statement released by the Labor Party.
"While I made those awful comments many years ago and they in no way reflect the views I hold today, I understand, especially as a member of the LGBTIQ community, that we need to be careful about what we share or like on social media."
Creasey said his actions were an "important lesson" for young people "that your social media footprint will follow you".
He thanked his Party and community in Melbourne, saying, "I am sorry if I have let you down".
Shortly before the latest comments were revealed, Shorten had stood by his now-toppled candidate.
The opposition leader said Creasey's remarks were "deeply offensive, shocking and stupid" but argued he had apologised.
"He has also come forward and said he was 22 at the time, seven years ago," he earlier told reporters.
"He has apologised deeply and he certainly doesn't hold those views now."
Victorian Labor's factions were divided over whether to disendorse him.
Labor right powerbroker Stephen Conroy said the candidate's comments were "moronic and distasteful", telling Sky News he "has not helped the Labor cause and he should have a good, hard look in the mirror".
"I'm uncomfortable with him continuing (as candidate)," he said.
Victorian Labor Premier Daniel Andrews -- who is from the left faction, as is Creasey -- had argued there was a difference between Creasey's posts and anti-Muslim remarks that triggered the sacking of former Tasmanian Liberal candidate Jessica Whelan.
"He has owned it, he has apologised. I believe his apology is sincere," Mr Andrews told reporters.
"That sits in stark contrast to the culture of contemporary extremism that is in the Liberal Party."
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Creasey's age was no defence or excuse.
"He may well be contrite but the issue is not whether he's contrite, it is whether that's a standard that Bill Shorten is prepared to accept," Morrison earlier told reporters.
The PM said Labor's handling of the controversy suggested its candidates could say or do whatever they liked, so long as they later apologised.
Featured image: AAP