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Mr Kean has called for Ms Deves to be disendorsed as the party’s pick for the blue ribbon Sydney seat.
It comes after Ms Deves, who runs a lobby group called Save Women’s Sport, was forced to apologise for several now-deleted social media posts, including ones where she likened the battle to stop transgender athletes from competing in women’s sports to standing up against the Holocaust.
In the interview on 2GB radio this morning, Fordham said he had been inundated with messages from thousands of listeners who all thought Mr Kean should “butt out”.
“I’ve made mistakes. You’ve made mistakes. So why do you insist on having Katherine Deves cancelled?” Fordham asked the treasurer.
Fordham accused Mr Kean of undermining his own party.
Ms Deves has been referred to as the “captain’s pick” candidate after being chosen directly by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and former Liberal Party president Christine McDiven.
“Why are you undermining the prime minister, the premier and the first female president of the Liberal Party, who considered all of the candidates and backed Katherine Deves?” Fordham asked.
“When did you become so sensitive and so woke?”
Mr Kean responded: “Well, the last thing I’m doing is undermining the prime minister or the premier.
“The premier and I are in absolute agreement that these comments were abhorrent.
“They are vile and they have no place in Australian public debate.
“Comparing your opponents to Nazis is not acceptable, or comparing your cause to the Holocaust, one of the worst atrocities in human history is not acceptable.”
“I’m not going to allow her to be pushed aside as the pile-on comes in to try and silence her,” Mr Morrison said.
Fordham and Mr Kean also clashed when the treasurer referenced other comments made by Ms Deves, saying she had compared transgender children to sex offenders.
Fordham insisted the comments had been taken out of context.