Politics

A Nick Xenophon Candidate Has Been Sacked After Less Than 24 Hours In The Job

That was fast.

A candidate for Nick Xenophon’s SA Best party has been sacked just hours after his candidacy was announced, over inappropriate photos he posted to Facebook in 2015.

Rhys Adams was set to contest the division of Finniss in south east South Australia in next year’s state election. But shortly after his candidacy was announced on Saturday, the ABC uncovered photos of Adams appearing to pretend to punch a wax sculpture of Rihanna, and grope wax sculptures of Toni Collette and Lleyton Hewitt, at Madame Tussuads Wax Museum in Sydney.

The photo with Rihanna was captioned “it’s Chris baby”, in reference to Rihanna’s assault by then-boyfriend Chris Brown in 2009. Brown was subsequently convicted of assault and threatening to kill, and sentenced to five years’ probation.

Xenophon sacked Adams shortly after being shown the photos. He told the ABC that there was “meant to be a process of vetting for social media” and that he was “very unimpressed and quite appalled”.

“I’ve acted on this immediately because this is an issue that you cannot tolerate, particularly when it comes to domestic violence,” he added.

According to Xenophon, Adams felt “embarrassed” by his behaviour.

“It doesn’t mean [Adams] in any way condones domestic violence,” said Xenophon. “But these are things you cannot joke about.”

Image: Facebook/ABC

Adams, for his part, told the ABC that “the photos you’re referring to are from years ago doing stupid things with a juvenile sense of humour.”

“Back then I didn’t take into account those that may be hurt by what I now reflect on as a very poor taste joke which certainly doesn’t reflect my mindset or my values.”

Adams’ appointment and subsequent dismissal comes in the same week that Xenophon announced that he was quitting federal politics in order to contest the SA state seat of Hartley in Adelaide’s east.

The South Australian state election will be held in March 2018.

h/t ABC. Images via Facebook/ABC.