Labor MP condemns ‘antisemitic’ attack on Frydenberg


A NSW Labor frontbencher has condemned "vicious" claims Liberal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg might be a dual citizen, labelling a High Court challenge "deeply offensive" and "rooted in antisemitism".

State shadow treasurer Walt Secord has attacked the Labor Party member behind a legal push to have Mr Frydenberg ousted from office on the grounds he is a dual citizen through his mother, a Holocaust survivor.

"I believe the attacks and claims that the Treasurer is a citizen of Hungary are scurrilous and deeply offensive," he said.

"It is important to note that one of the key figures behind the recent push is lawyer Trevor Poulton and it is no surprise that he is being cheered on by notorious Adelaide-based Holocaust denier Fredrick Toben."


Australian Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is facing a challenge in the High Court over his eligibility to hold office. Picture: AAP
The NSW shadow treasurer has played the race card against legal action being present to the High Court.

Mr Poulton - a member of the ALP - who has prepared the legal brief of evidence to evict Mr Frydenberg from office, has also released a fictional book called The Holocaust Denier, but said he is not himself a denier.

Mr Secord said he believed Mr Poulton's motivation in pursuing Mr Frydenberg had "nothing to do with public policy".

"I believe the dual citizenship claims against Josh Frydenberg are deeply rooted in antisemitism," he said.

"I also agree with Scott Morrison, who has expressed similar views.

"That is why I add my support to calls from newly elected Federal Labor MP for Macnamara, Josh Burns, to have Trevor Poulton expelled from the Australian Labor Party for orchestrating this disgusting exercise against the Federal Treasurer."

Shadow Minister Walt Secord has backed Treasurer Josh Frydenberg against ‘antisemitic’ court challenge. Picture: AAP
Shadow Minister Walt Secord has backed Treasurer Josh Frydenberg against ‘antisemitic’ court challenge. Picture: AAP

Mr Frydenberg's mother, Erica Strausz, was born in Budapest during World War II. She arrived in Australia at the age of seven on a ship in December 1950 after being in a refugee camp and declared "stateless".

Mr Secord, who is deputy chair of the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel, said Mr Frydenberg's mother had been made stateless by the Nazis solely because she was Jewish.

"They robbed her of her citizenship," he said.

"It is absolutely disgusting to claim that she had Hungarian citizenship when it was ripped away from her and her family during the Shoah."

Mr Frydenberg has repeatedly told media he has had "clear legal advice" he does not hold citizenship of another country.