Wentworth, NSW – Wentworth MP Kerryn Phelps has referred an email making “homophobic, racist and anti-semitic” claims about her to the Australian Federal Police, warning it amounted to “hate speech”.
Dr Phelps said she reported the email to the AFP on Monday, after her electorate office and medical clinic received more than 250 calls and emails from people who received it.
The email, dated April 14, says the Jewish community “refuse to vaccine themselves on anything, and they are spreading measles and many other diseases”.
It goes on to say that Dr Phelps, a Jewish doctor and prominent same sex campaigner, is to blame for an outbreak of measles and urged voters to support her opponent, Liberal candidate Dave Sharma.
The email has a similar tone to one that was circulated during the Wentworth byelection last year, in which it was claimed Dr Phelps was withdrawing from the campaign because of an HIV diagnosis.
But the latest email, which was distributed much more broadly than the Wentworth electorate, makes more damning claims than the first one.
It claimed that Phelps had brought sick children from refugee camps to Australia and she planned to profit when they “spread the plague” around.
Dr Phelps said the email was “very distressing” and was “homophobic, racist and antisemitic”.
“I think this sort of hate speech is particularly concerning after the events in Christchurch,” Dr Phelps said.
She said she hoped the origins of the email, which is believed to have been sent to addresses on a business database, would be seriously investigated by the AFP.