Australia

Dutton says he 'regrets' accusing Labor candidate of disability 'excuse'

Labor's candidate for the federal seat of Dickson, Ali France and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton Source: AAP

Peter Dutton says he regrets accusing Labor candidate and amputee Ali France of using her disability as an excuse not to live in the Dickson electorate.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton says he regrets accusing his Labor opponent of using her disability as an excuse for not living in the electorate.

A day after apologising to Labor's candidate for Dickson Ali France on Twitter, the senior cabinet minister confirmed he was sorry.

But he was keen to shift the subject to the election campaign.

"I made comment yesterday obviously in relation to it, I regret having said the words I said," Mr Dutton told reporters at an LNP rally in Brisbane on Sunday.

"Now the focus, as the prime minister said, in this campaign is making sure we can manage the economy well and pay for the services we need."

Ms France, who had her leg amputated after she was hit by a car protecting her child in 2011, said she had been unable to find an accessible home in Dickson but would buy a house and modify it if she won.

But Mr Dutton said voters in his seat were angry that Ms France was using her disability as an "excuse" for not moving into the electorate.

Labor's candidate for the federal seat of Dickson, Ali France, is seen posing for a photo at Bald Hills, north of Brisbane
Labor's candidate for the federal seat of Dickson, Ali France, is seen posing for a photo at Bald Hills, north of Brisbane

Asked whether the comments had hurt his chances of re-election in Dickson, which he holds with a 1.6 per cent margin, Mr Dutton said: "No."

"My focus is always been on what's best for the local area, that's why I've been so passionate about making sure we can deliver."

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday Mr Dutton's comments had been taken out of context.

Disability advocates, union figures and Labor all savaged Mr Dutton over the issue.

ACTU president Michele O'Neil told AAP Mr Dutton was a "disgrace".

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