A right-wing Australian senator who said Muslims were the “real cause of bloodshed” following the New Zealand mosque shootings has failed to retain his seat in the country’s latest elections.
Queensland’s Fraser Anning has been voted out of his Senate seat in the Parliament of Australia, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
BuzzFeed News reported that Senate results have yet to be finalized but that Anning appears to have fallen short. His term is set to expire at the end of June.
He sparked massive backlash in March for comments about Muslims following the shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, which left 51 dead.
“I am utterly opposed to any form of violence within our community, and I totally condemn the actions of the gunman,” Anning wrote in a statement at the time.
“However, whilst 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,” he continued. “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.”
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who pulled out a surprise victory in the latest election, immediately condemned the comments, saying they had “no place in Australia, let alone the Australian Parliament.”
Anning gained more attention just days later after a 17-year-old protester smashed an egg on his head while he was giving an interview. Anning responded by punching the protestor before being restrained by security officials.
The confrontation quickly went viral.
Anning had faced scrutiny over his views on immigration before this year. He was widely condemned in 2018 after invoking an infamous Nazi euphemism and calling for a “final solution” to end the immigration problem in Australia.