Malcolm Turnbull

Sufi quits as Fremantle Lib candidate

Sherry Sufi. (Facebook) Source: Facebook

An incident in which he mocked his boss using sexually explicit language has forced Fremantle's Liberal candidate Sherry Sufi to quit.

Fremantle's Liberal party candidate Sherry Sufi has been dumped over a range of embarrassing incidents, with the last straw a report he was taped using crude sexual language while mocking his former boss, WA MP Michael Sutherland.

Mr Sufi's departure means both major parties have dumped their Fremantle candidates in a nine day period.

Maritime Union organiser Chris Brown was disendorsed by Labor last week for not disclosing a spent assault conviction from 30 years ago and replaced by Fremantle deputy mayor Josh Wilson.

A 2013 incident in which Mr Sufi, 33, was caught on camera mocking the South African accent of Mr Sutherland, the WA parliament's Speaker, using expletives in a sexually explicit impersonation of his former boss, was reported by the Fremantle Herald newspaper and prompted him to quit on Friday.

He lost his job with Mr Sutherland at the time because of it.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull snubbed Mr Sufi when he visited the Fremantle electorate this week and spoke at Austal Ships to talk up a Navy contract.

The unusual sight of a local candidate absent during an election campaign visit from the PM forced Mr Turnbull to tell journalists he did not agree with Mr Sufi's views rather than talk about shipbuilding and the economy.

Mr Sufi has been the subject of negative reports, including claims he embellished his work history and has publicly made comments linking same-sex marriage to polygamy and polyamory and opposing indigenous recognition.

"I am doing this in light of continued focus on events from my history," Mr Sufi said in a statement.

"I apologise if my words and actions have caused offence to anyone. This was never my intent.

"I want to avoid further distraction from the good work being done by the Prime Minister and his Liberal team."

Labor holds the seat by 5 per cent and has held it since former PM John Curtin won it in 1934.

Political analyst Peter Kennedy said while the Liberals would have given themselves little chance of winning Fremantle they did not want a candidate who was an embarrassment or distraction.

"When Mr Turnbull was down at Austal Ships all he wanted to talk about was shipbuilding but he had to talk about Sufi and that made it a wasted day," he said.

"Leaders and parties hate that and often want candidates to be seen and not heard so he had to go."

A possible replacement is Pierrette Kelly, an electorate officer to WA Senator Chris Back, who contested preselection for Fremantle and was present at the shipyards with her boss and the PM this week.

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch