A ‘Politics in the Pub’ public event at Forestville RSL Club on Friday 22 April saw all media suddenly evicted before it commenced, followed by an angry man escorted off the premises after he allegedly tried to ambush Katherine Deves.
The event, organised by the Liberal Party to raise the profiles of Mackellar MP Jason Falinski and introduce Liberal challenger for Warringah, Katherine Deves, ultimately attracted more notoriety for the already controversy-prone Ms Deves.
The 44-year-old lawyer’s contentious comments about surrogacy and transgender issues have dominated the national media in the run-up to the May 21 federal election.
Mr Falinski arrived to the reserved room in Forestville RSL without Ms Deves, 30 minutes after the scheduled start, when rumours began to circulate that Ms Deves might have cancelled her attendance.
Ms Deves previously failed to show at a community seminar three nights earlier, hosted by Manly Community Forum, which they advertised online as a “Q&A with the major candidates for next month’s federal election for the seat of Warringah.”
Her team advised us she had accidentally double booked and withdrew a few hours before it started.
Ms Deves has attracted criticism for her stance on transgender people and their participation in sports that are opposite to their gender at birth.
An estimated 600 statements on this and other contentious subjects were deleted from her social media accounts prior to her 2 April 2022 announcement she was contesting the Warringah seat.
When Ms Deves eventually arrived this evening in the back of a white car to the Forestville ‘Politics in the Pub’ gathering, which dropped her at the doorway, she paused momentarily to make an announcement to the assembled journalists and photographers at the club entrance.
“I have always fought for women and children,” she declared, “and now I’m fighting for the women and children of Warringah.” Then, shielded by adviser James Flynn, she avoided questions as she brushed past the media and went inside.
At the doorway to the upstairs event room, an unidentified man, who had berated journalists earlier, allegedly tried to intercept Ms Deves, but was halted by security and guided from the building, protesting loudly.
Manly Observer has made several attempts to interview Ms Deves and discuss her more electorate-relevant policy platforms, without success. She along with all other candidates will be invited to participate in our Meet the Candidates summary expected in early May.