The Liberal Party is putting out fires.
Days after a Liberal candidate in Western Australia was forced to withdraw from the upcoming election over “dangerous conspiracy theories”, another candidate’s links to controversial views have been exposed.
Andrea Tokaji, who was the Liberal candidate for Baldivis, quit the race on Friday after it emerged that she penned a lengthy piece claiming there were links between 5G technology and the coronavirus pandemic.
She said there was an “undeniable correlation” between the two things.
WA Opposition leader Zak Kirkup said of Ms Tokaji’s views, “Reading those comments, I was disappointed and quite concerned.
“More than anything I consider them dangerous conspiracy theories … They have no place in the Liberal Party.”
But Mr Kirkup’s job is not done there. He is now defending another Liberal candidate in WA.
Nurse Amanda-Sue Markham, who is married to Pastor Campbell Markham, is running for the Liberals in the March state election in the seat of Victoria Park.
On Friday, while the pair were speaking to reporters, Mrs Markham was asked about her husband’s views, which reportedly include comments that homosexuals could be “cleansed” and pornography viewers would go to hell.
Mr Kirkup immediately stepped in front of the Liberal candidate and refused to allow her to answer questions.
“We’ve addressed a number of issues that have been raised about candidate’s spouses in the past,” Mr Kirkup said.
“They’re made by a third party and not by a Liberal Party candidate, and they absolutely do not represent the Liberal Party’s views,” he said.
But Mrs Markham has since spoken out. She told the West Australian that she feels like she is being “interrogated” by journalists.
“As a candidate, I should be considered on my own merit as a woman,” she told the newspaper.
“I know there are many people who don’t share my religion, but I don’t believe my faith – which I have never sought to make an election issue – should be the subject of constant interrogation by the media.”
Mrs Markham’s biography on the official Liberal Party website notes her role as a registered nurse working “on the frontline in intensive care”.
“I live with my husband and we have four children,” the biography reads.
“I’m listening and talking with locals about their lives, families and hopes for this community. Your priorities are my priorities.”
Pastor Markham wrote in a self-published book in 2015 that a Christian man will “only marry a woman to submit to her husband”.
It is not the first time his wife has run for the Liberal Party. She tried her luck with the Tasmanian Liberal Party in 2019.