Independent MP Bob Katter has arced up on Canberra local radio this morning, refusing to answer questions about a series of controversial comments made by candidates for his fledgling political party this week.
Mr Katter hung up on 2CC’s Peter Davidson during the on-air interview at 8.30am.
Mr Davidson’s interview questions related to comments made by Jamie Cavanough, who is standing for Katter's Australian Party in Sydney's marginal federal seat Greenway, and on Thursday declared his preference for buying ''guaranteed non-halal meat'' so his money does not ''go to the Muslim community''.
The controversial comment came just a day after Katter candidate in Victoria, Tess Corbett, sparked outrage by likening homosexuals to paedophiles, saying they should be kept out of the classroom.
During this morning’s fiery interview, Mr Katter said Mr Davidson and the media generally insisted on focusing on "gutter issues" rather than important problems like water security.
"You are saying that somehow we are racist. There is not the slightest threat of that in our party and there never has been," Mr Katter said.
"You’re trying to label us with some sort of a label."
The interview ended abruptly when the radio presenter asked Mr Katter if he found comments linking homosexuality to paedophilia offensive, and Mr Katter hung up.
The interview followed on from Mr Katter's appearance on Channel Ten's The Project on Thursday night, when Mr Katter also refused to comment on Ms Corbett's statements on homosexuality.
When pressed by Project host Charlie Pickering in a pre-recorded interview for his views on equating homosexuality and paedophilia, Mr Katter refused to answer.
"These issues are not relevant to what I am about in politics," Mr Katter said.
"I am not aware of a single person of that persuasion [homosexual] committing suicide amongst the million people in north Queensland."
When pushed again for an answer, Mr Katter told The Project he would be sticking with his party statement, prompting an outburst from Mr Pickering:
Mr Pickering: All you have to do is say whether or not you think it is offensive to equate homosexuality to paedophilia. Just answer that.
Mr Katter: The statement I have made I will make continuously and repeatedly.
Mr Pickering: Then I will ask my question continuously and repeatedly, Bob. I want to talk about the great work that you are doing, but I also want to hear from a political leader in this country that he does not equate homosexuality with paedophilia.
Mr Katter: You are taking me out of the area of my concern.
Mr Katter is currently touring Victoria to campaign for a regulated price on milk.