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  • Writer's pictureLeonardo Puglisi

Liberal MP Tim Smith appears to threaten 6 News’ Leo Puglisi with legal action for tweet


Late last night, I tweeted a quote from Victorian Liberal MP Tim Smith on Roe v Wade being overturned by the US Supreme Court.

The quote - "Aren’t you glad we live in a constitutional monarchy with a largely British constitution?" - was part of what Smith said in his own tweet, which was screenshotted in full. Smith’s original tweet was quote-tweeted by myself.

There was - as always - no commentary, angle or opinion expressed by myself in my tweet.

6 News had been reporting on reaction from Australians to the landmark abortion decision throughout the day, as seen here.

The article was even linked in my original tweet.

Just 5 minutes after I made the tweeted, Smith replied with the following:

“Yes, I’m pleased our country has been spared the spectacle of what’s going on in America. Our constitution is, in my humble opinion, far better at dealing with these types of controversies. The Sovereign is the apex of our constitutional arrangements. Your point is what exactly?

Again, there was no “point” or “angle” to my tweet.

Smith replied again, with what appeared to be a legal threat made towards me.

“If you’re trying to verbal me on my opinion regarding the substance of the Supreme Court’s decision, you may be getting a letter in the post. Be very careful.”

I am disgusted & appalled by this remark.

Let me repeat what I said last night:

I’m asking for a full withdrawal of the comments made & an apology.

I’m not anti-Liberal. I’m not anti-Tim Smith. I just don’t appreciate an apparent legal threat towards me for a tweet directly quoting the person in question.

Smith will not be re-contesting the seat of Kew (the electorate next to mine, believe it or not) at November’s state election. But currently, he is still in parliament.

And the fact is, a sitting member of parliament is tweeting things like that to a 14-year-old journalist late on a Saturday night.

Tim Smith, if you’re reading this - withdraw your comments.

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