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Greens lose candidate for online posts


A Greens federal election candidate has been forced to quit over social media posts he made from 2012 to 2015, including one in which he made a racist joke about a friend.

Jay Dessi stood down on Wednesday as the candidate for the safe Labor seat of Lalor in western Melbourne after his social media history was revealed.

The Greens confirmed Mr Dessi resigned on Wednesday after The Australian published details of his social media history, including a racist joke he made at the expense of a friend.

"Jay Dessi has given an unreserved apology to anyone they may have offended. I have now been advised that he has stood down as candidate for Lalor," Senator Di Natale said on Wednesday.

The party will now take down his campaign posters.

"I am electing to step down from being the Greens candidate for the division of Lalor," Mr Dessi said in a statement.

"I again apologise for offence that my posts may have caused."

It comes after the Liberals lost two candidates for racist and homophobic remarks, while two Labor candidates were also forced to quit mid-campaign.

Liberal candidate for the Victorian seat of Wills, Peter Killin resigned after it emerged he said the"homosexual lifestyle" carried "appalling health risks" and Jeremy Hearn was also dumped as the Liberal candidate for the seat of Isaacs over an anti-Muslim rant he posted online last year.

Labor's NT Senate candidate Wayne Kurnorth resigned after it was revealed he had shared an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory and posted an Islamic State-themed meme while the Labor candidate for the seat of Melbourne also withdrew after it was revealed he'd posted jokes about rape, lesbians and Catholics.

After the Victorian election last November where a number of Greens candidates and staffers came under fire for their social media history, the Australian Greens gave extra resources to state parties to vet candidates.

"As a grassroots organisation, we do rely upon the assistance of candidates during this process," the party said in a statement.

"In this instance, some unsavoury comments from several years ago were not identified. The Victorian Greens apologise for this error."

But the Greens are standing by Northern Territory candidate George Hanna, an indigenous man, who shared a racist joke about Liberal candidate and indigenous woman Jacinta Price.

"George has committed to ensuring his criticism is limited to policy in future. He has offered an apology to Jacinta Price for using this language."

© AAP 2019