13 Jan 2023

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet denies Nazi costume furore is sign of divided Liberal Party

5:40 pm on 13 January 2023
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 09: NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet speaks to the media during a COVID-19 press conference on September 9, 2021 in Sydney, Australia.

Dominic Perrottet. Photo: 2021 Getty Images

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet says he remains confident in his political position, as a storm sparked by revelations he wore a Nazi uniform to his 21st birthday party intensifies.

Perrottet fronted reporters Friday at Ryde Hospital, in Sydney's north, after yesterday admitting he rented and donned the outfit in 2003.

While the premier said several colleagues had contacted him overnight to offer their support, it has been revealed the issue first came to light when Transport Minister David Elliott raised it.

The pair's relationship has been strained in recent weeks over the NSW government's plans to introduce a cashless gaming card in a bid to help curb problem gambling and money laundering in pubs and clubs.

Elliott, who is not contesting March's state election for the Liberal Party, has been critical of the plan, and phoned the Premier on Tuesday night to raise the Nazi costume issue.

Perrottet today said he was not aware if a photograph existed of him at the party.

"It was a terrible, terrible mistake that I made. And as I said, I am incredibly sorry for the hurt that mistake that I made when I was 21 will have on the community across the state."

When asked if he was "confident in your position as leader of the Liberal Party" he responded: "Yes."

Perrottet denied the fact the issue was first raised by a member of his own government showed the Liberals were divided, 10 weeks out from the state election.

"No, it's not about politics, it's about doing what's right," he said.

He denied any recollection of performing a Nazi salute whilst in the uniform.

At the press conference the state's Health Minister Brad Hazzard, and Minister for Fair Trading, Victor Dominello, threw their support behind Perrottet's leadership.

"He's an amazing guy, he's done an incredible job ... And I'm prepared to back him 100 percent," Hazzard said.

"If you want vision, look at the courage ... in relation to gambling reform. This is generational leadership," Dominello said.

Perrottet doubled down on his "strong support" of Jewish people, saying he had lived with the burden of knowing what he had done since the day after his party, when his parents told him it was wrong.

Yesterday Perrottet apologised and said he was "deeply ashamed".

The incident has caused pain within the Jewish community in Sydney where more than 2000 Holocaust survivors live.


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