Melissa Leong calls Pauline Hanson a ‘bigot’ after acknowledgment of country Senate walk-out

MasterChef star Melissa Leong calls Pauline Hanson an ‘ugly-hearted bigot’ after she angrily left the Senate during opening acknowledgment of country

MasterChef judge Melissa Leong has torn shreds off Pauline Hanson for storming out of the Senate during the opening acknowledgment of country on Wednesday.

The 40-year-old, who is of Chinese-Singaporean heritage, said Hanson’s walk-out was not only ‘bigoted’ but stole the spotlight from Fatima Payman, who just minutes later would become the first Muslim woman to address the Senate in a hijab.

Describing the day’s events as ‘a step forward and several back’ for multicultural Australia, Leong blasted Senator Hanson for ‘robbing’ Payman, the Labor Senator-elect for Western Australia, of her moment of glory.

MasterChef judge Melissa Leong (pictured on June 19) has torn shreds off Pauline Hanson for storming out of the Senate during the opening acknowledgment of country on Wednesday

MasterChef judge Melissa Leong (pictured on June 19) has torn shreds off Pauline Hanson for storming out of the Senate during the opening acknowledgment of country on Wednesday 

‘On a day we should only be cheering the first hijab-wearing woman giving her inaugural speech to Parliament, we are in many ways robbed of that full glory by another woman, this one an ugly-hearted bigot, who walked out of the Senate – during and because of – acknowledgement of country,’ she wrote on Instagram. 

The food critic continued: ‘This typifies where we are as a nation. We have come so far, yet we have so far to go. I am hopeful and yet so very angry all at once. The only comfort I have is knowing I’m not alone.

‘Sending power, congratulations and support to Senator Fatima Payman. To the short-sighted hateful bigot, hope the door hit you on the way out. Feel free not to come back.’

Senator Hanson angrily left the Senate during the opening acknowledgment of country, which she interrupted by yelling, 'No, I won't and never will', before storming out of the chamber

Senator Hanson angrily left the Senate during the opening acknowledgment of country, which she interrupted by yelling, ‘No, I won’t and never will’, before storming out of the chamber

The 40-year-old, who is of Chinese-Singaporean heritage, said Hanson's walk-out was not only 'bigoted' but stole the spotlight from Fatima Payman (pictured), who just minutes later would become the first Muslim woman to address the Senate in a hijab

The 40-year-old, who is of Chinese-Singaporean heritage, said Hanson’s walk-out was not only ‘bigoted’ but stole the spotlight from Fatima Payman (pictured), who just minutes later would become the first Muslim woman to address the Senate in a hijab 

'On a day we should only be cheering the first hijab-wearing woman giving her inaugural speech to Parliament, we are in many ways robbed of that full glory by another woman, this one an ugly-hearted bigot, who walked out of the Senate - during and because of - acknowledgement of country,' she wrote on Instagram

‘On a day we should only be cheering the first hijab-wearing woman giving her inaugural speech to Parliament, we are in many ways robbed of that full glory by another woman, this one an ugly-hearted bigot, who walked out of the Senate – during and because of – acknowledgement of country,’ she wrote on Instagram 

Leong was supported by fellow Channel 10 presenter Barry Du Bois, who commented below her post: ‘We have so many strong, smart, empathetic, free-thinking women doing great things to be wasting time on this racist bigot.’

Du Bois, who has cancer, pulled out of his run for federal parliament earlier this year.

Hanson angrily left the Senate during the opening acknowledgment of country.

Senate President Sue Lines acknowledged the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people as traditional custodians of the Canberra area and paid respect to elders past and present at the opening of Wednesday’s sitting.

Leong was supported by fellow Channel 10 presenter Barry Du Bois (pictured), who commented below her post: 'We have so many strong, smart, empathetic, free-thinking women doing great things to be wasting time on this racist bigot'

Leong was supported by fellow Channel 10 presenter Barry Du Bois (pictured), who commented below her post: ‘We have so many strong, smart, empathetic, free-thinking women doing great things to be wasting time on this racist bigot’

Senator Hanson interjected, yelling, ‘No, I won’t and never will’, before storming out of the chamber in a huff. 

The One Nation leader later said she could not accept the welcome to country or a proposal to be moved later in the day that would raise the Indigenous flag in the Senate chamber.

‘I’ve been feeling this way for a long time,’ she said. ‘I have called from the first day for equality for all Australians. I see this as divisive.’

She said if anyone needed acknowledgement it was ‘our people that have fought for this country. People who have sacrificed their lives.’

'Sending power, congratulations and support to Senator Fatima Payman. To the short-sighted hateful bigot, hope the door hit you on the way out. Feel free not to come back,' said Leong

‘Sending power, congratulations and support to Senator Fatima Payman. To the short-sighted hateful bigot, hope the door hit you on the way out. Feel free not to come back,’ said Leong 

Senator Hanson added the Indigenous flag had ‘never been voted on’.

‘I will never pay respect to (the flag). I find this flag divisive,’ she said. 

She also criticised the acknowledgement to country being so widespread, saying: ‘We are now hearing it on flights and aeroplanes. I’m sorry, this is my country as well.

‘This is heading towards division in our nation. A them and us. And we’ll never close the gap if we continue down this path. All Australians should be treated equally and the same.’

Senator Hanson said if anyone needed acknowledgement it was 'our people that have fought for this country. People who have sacrificed their lives'

Senator Hanson said if anyone needed acknowledgement it was ‘our people that have fought for this country. People who have sacrificed their lives’

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