Prime Minister Scott Morrison has blamed Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese for an extraordinary confrontation with a “Labor apparatchik” at a private function.
Mr Morrison was ambushed on Tuesday night at a drinks event he was hosting for journalists by Adisen Wright, who filmed the encounter and uploaded it to TikTok.
Mr Wright describes himself on social media as a “progressive activist” and is listed online as a Young Labor member.
He has identified himself as the man who approached Mr Morrison at western Sydney’s Nepean Rowing Club.
In the TikTok video, Mr Wright can be heard asking Mr Morrison for a photo. When the PM realises he is being filmed, he tells him the function is private – at which point Mr Wright begins shouting.
“Scomo, across the river here, across the Nepean River, people lost their houses and they were burned. You’re a disgrace – you are a disgrace,” he yells, before leaving the premises.
Help me. I tried asking the PM a question and have been detained
On Wednesday, Mr Morrison described the encounter as “the equivalent of a pitch invasion by a Labor apparatchik”.
“When Anthony Albanese sets the tone for the last three years, where he basically says it is OK to sledge and attack and engage in personal [attacks] for three years, you may think that is a substitute for having an economic plan, but it is not,” he said.
“As Shane Warne told his kids, manners cost nothing.”
Mr Albanese also condemned the “inappropriate” action on Wednesday.
“I have seen footage of it and I think that gentleman – I don’t know who he was – his actions were entirely inappropriate,” he said in Melbourne.
“We need to have civil discourse.
“Our democratic processes can be robust but people can be polite and people can engage in appropriate forums in appropriate ways.”
Mr Wright’s video continues, showing him being followed by a police officer as he leaves Mr Morrison’s drinks event.
“I didn’t know it was a private event. I genuinely didn’t. So I apologise for that,” he tells the officer.
“But I just wanted to ask a question because look, I’m a – I obviously care about government and in our area we got, our house was incredibly impacted.
“We just want some action.”
It is understood Labor’s NSW branch is looking at Mr Wright’s involvement in the party.
The video had more than 140,000 views on social media as of Wednesday afternoon.
NSW police confirmed they were called to a licensed premises at Penrith about 7.30pm. They issued a 20-year-old man with a direction to move on.
“He left the venue without incident,” a spokeswoman said.