Liberal candidate Jessica Whelan quits over controversial Facebook posts

Liberal candidate Jessica Whelan quits over controversial Facebook posts
Former Lyons Liberal candidate, Jessica Whelan. Photo: Liberal Party

Tasmanian election candidate Jessica Whelan has quit following allegations that she made several anti-Muslim posts on social media.

Screenshots of Ms Whelan’s Facebook activity appear to show her making anti-Muslim and anti-immigration comments.

It comes after the Liberal Party lost two Victorian candidates earlier this week after anti-gay and anti-Muslim posts were discovered in their digital history.

In a statement, the Liberal Party said that it had accepted her resignation and that the posts were “inappropriate” but that the party “was not aware of their existence until they were reported,”

Yesterday, Ms Whelan was accused in Tasmanian Parliament of making anti-Muslim comments on Facebook and was cited as referencing genital mutilation. Ms Whelan denied that she made those posts and suggested that the screenshots had been doctored.

However, Ms Whelan’s statement this morning says that “she accepts that she made some of the other posts in question.”

The Liberal Party has not made clear which posts Ms Whelan admits to making and which she alleges have been digitally altered.

While campaigning alongside Ms Whelan, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the issue would be referred to the Federal Police. There is no indication this has occurred yet, with an AFP spokesperson saying that they were “aware” of the media coverage surrounding Ms Whelan.

Despite being dumped as the Liberal candidate, Ms Whelan still remain on ballot papers since early voting has already begun.

In one post, Ms Whelan allegedly calls recently convicted Minneapolis police office Mohammed Noor a “filthy Muslim!” in a comment thread on a news post shortly after the Justine Damond Ruszczyk story broke.