SYDNEY – Controversial British right-wing writer Milo Yiannopoulos paid a visit to the Australian Parliament in Canberra on Tuesday, a day after clashes between his supporters and critics broke out in Melbourne.
Yiannopoulos, who in February resigned as editor of the far-right news website Breitbart News in the wake of controversy over his comments on pedophilia, was invited by Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm.
“I wouldn’t call myself a disciple of him by any means,” the Australian senator said, stressing that he does not share the controversial views of his guest, he said on Channel 9 television.
The writer avoided commenting on the Monday night protests in Melbourne, where members from the anti-fascist group Campaign Against Racism and Fascism and from the anti-Islam, far-right True Blue Crew confronted each other.
Melbourne riot police had to use pepper spray to end a fight between the protesters and closed a street, while stones were thrown at the police vehicles.
When asked about the demonstrations, Yiannopoulos briefly told Channel 9 that he has nothing to say at the moment.
Yiannopoulos is in Australia to make several presentations despite attempts by the Green Party in Parliament to veto his entry into the country.
Among the controversies sparked by the writer is the video in which Yiannopoulos joked about a sexual encounter he had as a teenager with a Catholic priest and comments made that were interpreted as advocating pedophilia.
Yiannopoulos defended himself on his Facebook account with a message saying that he does not support pedophilia and that the images were edited on purpose in an “aggressive, coordinated effort” to discredit him among traditional Republicans.