SYDNEY (Reuters) - The leader of Australia’s right-wing One Nation party, Pauline Hanson, said on Tuesday one of her senate candidates has resigned from the party after footage emerged showing him making derogatory comments and touching a dancer in a U.S. strip club.
The resignation, less than a month before a general election, threatens to further erode support for One Nation, which has seen voters abandon it after a series of scandals.
Hanson said Steve Dickson offered his resignation after an Australian channel aired footage from an undercover investigation by the Al Jazeera network that showed him putting money into a dancer’s lingerie while talking in disparagingly terms.
“Steve’s language and behaviour was unacceptable and does not meet my expectations nor the greater public’s expectations of a person who is standing for public office,” Hanson told reporters.
Dickson has apologised for the incident in a statement. He said he was drunk.
Professor of political science at Flinders University, Haydon Manning, said Dickson was one of One Nation’s best-known candidates.
“This video adds to the picture that the party is in disarray and will hurt its support,” Manning said.
One Nation’s troubles could intensify a battle for the right-wing vote among small parties and independents challenging the conservative Liberal and National parties.
A Newspoll for the Australian newspaper on Monday showed One Nation on course to win just 4 percent of the primary vote in the May 18 election, half of its expected tally a month earlier.
Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Robert Birsel