Picture Courtesy: Mark Latham Outsiders Facebook Page
Mark Latham has returned to politics, joining the One Nation party to run for NSW’s Parliament.
The former Labor leader revealed his candidacy for the march poll on Wednesday, stating that the stakes were too high for him to sit on the sidelines and wanted to put his hand up because people needed a third choice.
He identified free speech and a love for the country, while claiming he would fight against political correctness, identity politics, over-development and immigration.
“We need freedom of speech,” Mr Latham said.
“NSW politics again has got the whole PC apparatus in place.”
“These are all issues that are banking up in NSW they haven’t been addressed by the major parties.”
“I want to provide people with a third choice – to say you can vote One Nation and have practical, common sense solutions to these big issues in our state.”
Mr Latham and Ms Hanson had rejected the suggestion that would not be able to work together.
“Mark is the state leader. I’m the federal leader,” Ms Hanson said.
“The state needs strong leadership. He knows about the state. I’m not going to interfere in the state.”
“This is about the party moving forward. About working as a team.”
“We’re both strong, independent people. He has a lot to offer.”
Mr Latham had been considering a political comeback for months, claiming he had been asked by four parties to consider running for Senate, but he did not say if he would accept any of the offers.
He had previously briefly joined the Liberal Democrats, but joined with One Nation during the Longman by-election.
The comeback has faced criticism from State and Federal leaders.
WA Premier Mark McGowan had blasted Mr Latham over his move to One Nation.
“He fits the category of national disgrace,” Mr McGowan said.
“One Nation is welcome to him.”
Labor’s Chris Bowen dismissed the former leader as a “joke”.
“They have fallen out with everybody they ever worked with,” Mr Bowen said.
“He has in the past called One Nation a racist party. Now he’s joined that racist party that he self-described it.”
“I just don’t spend much time thinking about Mark Latham.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison likened Mr Latham’s return with One Nation as similar to reality television, commenting on his political promiscuity.
“Mark Latham, it’s a bit like The Bachelor,” he said.
“He’s been handing out roses to the Labor Party, to the Liberal Democrats. And now he’s handing out one to One Nation.”
However, Ms Hanson said Mr Latham’s past political promiscuity had not tarnished his legacy and One Nation was not a last resort.
“If anyone thinks he’s an opportunist, think twice about that,” she said.