POLITICS

Mark Latham Has Joined David Leyonhjelm's Liberal Democrats

Oh dear.

08/05/2017 4:54 PM AEST | Updated 08/05/2017 4:54 PM AEST
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Yep.

Former Labor leader Mark Latham has signaled a return to politics, announcing he has joined forces with NSW Senator David Leyonhjelm to become a member of the Liberal Democrats.

Latham, also a former Sky News commentator and Fairfax columnist, announced the decision Monday after Leyonhjelm, one of the loosest cannons in the federal parliament, teased that a "high profile individual" had joined the party.

In a post on his newly-created Mark Latham's Outsiders Facebook page -- started up after his sacking from Sky News, where he hosts a regular live video segment -- that his decision to join the Liberal Democrats was "to play a role in fighting for our national values, based on personal freedom and responsibility."

He did not detail whether he would be seeking election to parliament.

Only two days ago Latham revealed he had finally officially parted ways with the Labor Party. He tweeted that "I have had to tell my local branch I can no longer be involved" with the ALP, clearing the way for him to join another political party.

Leyonhjelm and Latham have been firming up their friendship of late, with Latham appearing at a recent libertarians conference in Sydney and shooting a YouTube clip with the Liberal Democrats senator. In the video, Latham said he agreed with "90 percent of the platform of the Liberal Democrats" and told Leyonhjelm "I'm interested in your party".

HuffPost Australia has contacted Leyonhjelm's office for comment. It is as yet unclear whether Latham will seek election under the Liberal Democrats banner.

The news was to be announced officially Monday night on Andrew Bolt's program on Sky News -- ironically, the channel which fired Latham after a series of inappropriate comments. Leyonhjelm and Bolt, however, inadvertently let the cat out of the bag early, after the senator teased the announcement and Bolt's blog teased that Monday's show would feature "Mark Latham on returning to politics. But will it be with Labor?"

The news was met with immediate humour from fellow minor party senator, Derryn Hinch. He called Latham a "boofhead".

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