Katherine Deves has slammed activists for their “disgusting conduct” after they confronted the former Liberal candidate during a night out at a Sydney pub.
Scott Morrison’s famous captain’s pick for the New South Wales seat of Warringah claimed she was verbally assaulted by a group of young men and women and then chased out of The Grand Hotel during a pub crawl with Young Liberals on Friday night.
A two-minute video shared to social media appeared to show a group chanting loudly inside the Hamilton St pub before the person filming is knocked to the ground.
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Ms Deves, who was not seen in the clip, told Sky News Australia she was invited by the Young Liberals – a centre-right youth movement of the Liberal Party – for a night out before they were allegedly confronted by the group.
“I showed up at the venue. They changed the location at the last minute for safety reasons,” she told The Outsiders program on Sunday.
“I only just walked in the door. I saw a lot of familiar faces.
“I was really excited to see these young people and catch up with what was going on with their lives as they assisted me in my campaign.
“And someone said, ‘the socialists are here’. I’m here thinking to myself, ‘what does that mean?'”
“All of a sudden, we realized the room had been invaded by a group of young men and women who started protesting and using arguably defamatory slurs against me, shouting at the top of their voices, shoving people.”
Ms Deves then claimed a “trans woman friend of mine” who assisted in her campaign in May was shoved and another person filming was pushed down the stairs.
She was able to leave the venue quickly with a campaign director and his friend but told how she was followed outside where other protesters had gathered.
“… But there are even more protesters on the street who proceeded to scream slurs and defamatory accusations at me and then chase me into a cab,” the 44-year-old said.
“The poor cab driver was saying ‘what’s going on here’ and we were just like ‘mate, just drive, just drive’ and we managed to get out of there.”
The mother-of-three believes the confrontation is the result of a “knock-on effect” from the Federal Election campaign where she made national headlines.
Ms Deves came under scrutiny when historic social media comments surfaced where she described transgender children as “surgically mutilated and sterilized” as well as her strong stance against trans athletes from competing in women’s sport.
An apology about the trans children comments was issued before it was walked back and she doubled down on the remarks just under two weeks before polling.
“This is sort of a knock-on effect from what happened in the election where many things I had said were completely decontextualised, they were sensationalised by certain elements of the media and cast the arguments I was trying to make, in a very bad light ,” she said.
“I think these young people were reacting to that.”
She flagged it was an “attack on freedom of speech and freedom of belief.”
Ms Deves insisted she would have welcomed a conversation with the activists but their actions were “disgusting conduct” that could have left people hurt.
“And if those young people had shown up and actually wanted to have a conversation with me, I would have happily discussed with them, and everyone would be entitled to agree to disagree,” the ex-Liberal candidate added.
“But to conduct with themselves in such a way, where they were clearly there to intimidate, harass and silent (me), I thought it was disgusting conduct.”
Ms Deves then suggested the activists behaved that way was “because they don’t like the fact of what I’m saying is actually right” and pointed to the recent closure of a gender identity clinic for children in the United Kingdom.
The National Health Service (NHS) will shut down the Tavistock center after complaints were raised by whistleblowers, patients and families in recent years.
Doctors had also reported concerns that some patients were being referred to a gender transitioning pathway too early.
“The fact that the people who are my detractors, they don’t want to have a conversation, they never wanted to have the conversation because what they’re trying to say doesn’t stand up to scrutiny,” she argued to The Outsiders hosts.
“I mean, some of the issues for which I was vilified, I’ve now been vindicated on, whether it’s the sports issue and also with respect to children being medicalised.”
“The Tavistock clinic in the UK, that was closed down on Friday, they have been discredited, they have been disgraced, they have absolutely been shut down.
“Those medicalised pathways I was trying to raise awareness of are now not being offered to children in the UK because there are so many concerns.”
“I think my detractors really want to shut me up because they don’t like the fact of what I’m saying is actually right and the arguments have merit because it completely undermines their political agenda.”
NSW Police told SkyNews.com.au it had not received any reports related to the incident.