In Brief

Tony Abbott head-butt ‘not linked to same-sex marriage vote’

Man charged with assaulting former Australian PM denies attack was political

A man charged with head-butting former prime minister of Australia Tony Abbott has said that the attack had nothing to do with the country’s vote on same-sex marriage.

Abbott – a vocal advocate for the No vote – had a swollen lip and criticised the “bullying tactics” of some in the Yes campaign as “disturbing”, according to local news reports.

The former leader told Radio 3AW that he was on the receiving end of a “Liverpool kiss” while walking down the street in daylight. He said: “As he was scuttling away, amidst all the ‘F this’ and ‘F that’, was ‘You deserve it because of all the things you’ve said.’ I think it was pretty clear it was ... politically motivated violence.”

The two-month same-sex marriage voting process began last week and there have been several reports of violence, including a cafe threatened with arson.

But today, the 38-year-old man charged with assault told the Hobart Mercury there was nothing political about the attack. Anarchist DJ Astro Labe said he was drinking in the afternoon when he spotted Abbott, for whom he said he harbours a “personal hatred”.

Labe said his friend gave him the same-sex marriage sticker and he didn't mean to bring the Yes vote into it.

“It was nothing really remotely to do with that. It’s just about Tony Abbott, the f***ing worm that he is,” Labe said. 

“All it was is I saw Tony Abbott and I’d had half a skinful and I wanted to nut the c***.”

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