Politics

That Sky News Neo-Nazi Has Been Suspended By Twitter After Tweeting About Raping A Journalist

Who thought putting this guy on air was a good idea?

Blair Cottrell Sky News

Twitter has suspended — but not banned — prominent far-right figure Blair Cottrell after he tweeted that he “might as well have raped [Sky News Presenter Laura Jayes] on the air”.

Cottrell kicked off a storm of controversy after the former United Patriots Front leader appeared on Adam Giles’ Sky News show for an interview about immigration . on Sunday evening. Since the interview aired, Sky News journalists (and even some advertisers) have condemned the move.

Cottrell has previously said that he wants a copy of Mein Kampf in every Australian classroom. He’s also been convicting of inciting contempt for Muslims after staging a mock beheading in Bendigo, Victoria.

Cottrell’s rape tweet was sent out yesterday morning before being quickly deleted. This was the original tweet:

Blair Cottrell Sky News

“I might as well have raped @ljayes on the air, not only would she have been happier with that but the reaction would’ve been the same,” reads the tweet. @ljayes is the Twitter handle for

Sky News political reporter Laura Jayes, who was one of the first Sky News employees to publicly criticise the Cottrell interview. She accurately described him as an arsehole.

In a post on Facebook, Cottrell said:

“Twitter just banned me for a week for no apparent reason. I honestly don’t care, I’m just making sure you see how insane this censorship is and how it’s all linked in with the media.”

Cottrell also made an earlier post on his Facebook page that similarly used rape to illustrate his point (“Anyone would think I went on the air and spat in the face of the presenter then raped the entire staff on my way out”), but Facebook has chosen not to ban him.

Facebook told Guardian Australia that the post did not “incite” rape.

The suspension comes just a day after tech giants Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Spotify (and even Pinterest) banned US conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from their platforms.

Cottrell has been a staple of Australia’s far right since 2015, where he gained prominence organising and speaking at a number of Reclaim Australia rallies. He has lead the United Patriots Front, which is now known as Fortitude Australia.

In 2016, Triple J’s Hack program aired a live TV special which pitted Cottrell against other panellists on issues such as feminism and immigration.

Twitter is yet to respond to queries about Cottrell’s suspension.