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Premier slams ‘nasty’ MP, backs controversial post

The Queensland premier has backed a minister’s social media post that sparked cyberbullying allegations, days after pushing for better protections from online harm.

Steven Miles on Friday said he was not contradicting himself by supporting a video that criticized opposition MP Ros Bates, calling her “immature, mean, nasty and insulting.”

Health Minister Shannon Fentiman has been accused of inciting cyberbullying after posting a video of Ms Bates yelling “cross your legs” in parliament.

An emotional Ms Bates on Thursday pleaded with the minister to remove the video, claiming she had received vile messages and threats of violence.

The premier says Ros Bates one of the nastiest people in Queensland’s parliament. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)

The premier said it was time Ms Bates was held to account, backing Ms Fentiman’s decision to not pull the post.

“Ros Bates is one of the nastiest people in the Queensland parliament,” Mr Miles told reporters.

“If she doesn’t want Queenslanders to see what she says in parliament, she shouldn’t say things like that.

“She says terrible things all the time.”

Mr Miles was among three state premiers pushing this week to limit age minimums for social media platforms to better protect minors from online harm.

He agreed there was no excuse for the abuse directed at Ms Bates.

“Unfortunately, politicians receive messages like that every day,” Mr Miles said.

“You could go to my Facebook page, or you could open my email inbox and there would be hundreds of messages like that, including death threats.

“I have been very vocal in calling on the social media companies to do more to keep people safe online and to do more to eradicate this kind of treatment online.”

Asked whether he was contradicting himself with his defense of Ms Fentiman, the premier claimed Ms Bates’ comment was awful and Opposition Leader David Crisafulli should “pull her into line”.

“There is no excuse for that kind of behavior online (abuse of Ms Bates),” he said.

“But there is also no excuse for the kind of behavior that we see consistently from the LNP in the parliament.”

Mr Miles accused the LNP of consistently targeting women during Question Time.

Queensland minister Shannon Fentiman posted the video to social media (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)

Ms Fentiman’s video initially claimed Ms Bates told the minister to “close your legs” while discussing maternity ward closures in parliament.

It was later corrected by the official parliament transcript, prompting Ms Fentiman to change her post to “cross your legs”.

Ms Bates said her comment was referring to the plight of regional women about giving birth being transferred between hospitals due to maternity ward closures.

After Ms Bates asked in parliament for her to remove the post, Ms Fentiman said she took offense to claims she had incited cyberbullying.

Asked to withdraw her claim in parliament, Ms Bates replied: “I am a victim and I do not withdraw.”

The matter has been referred to the ethics committee.

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