HENRY PIKE GETS LNP BOWMAN CANDIDACY SELECTION FOR ANDREW LAMING’S KEY FEDERAL SEAT
The Liberal National Party has chosen Henry Pike as its candidate for the federal Brisbane seat held by MP Andrew Laming.
This is despite Andrew Laming continuing in his role as the our Federal Member for Bowman and fighting off a number of claims against him and receiving a number of ‘significant’ apologies.
Ironically, Henry Pike was the only male contender in the five-way race to represent the LNP in the electorate of Bowman, even though one of the female candidates who went for the key pre-selection just happened to be Redland City Council Mayor, Karen Williams.
It was a further surprise that one of Henry Pikes’ supporters for the candidacy selection for the LNP at the next Federal election was federal Assistant Minister for Women, Amanda Stoker, given the number of women in the field for selection.
Henry Pike’s selection has been questioned in some quarters, particularly from the Labor opposition.
Federal Opposition leader Anthony Albanese reacted to Mr Pike's preselection on Twitter.
"So the LNP had a range of female candidates for preselection to choose from including local Mayor Karen Williams to replace the disgraced Andrew Laming but of course they chose this bloke," he wrote.
Earlier this year Dr Laming said he would not re-contest his seat after several claims against him taking a month of paid medical leave to seek empathy training ordered by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Mr Morrison ordered his MP to apologise and characterised his online behaviour as "disgraceful".
Dr Laming had been accused of harassing two women from his electorate over several years but said he was a victim of character assassinations and his conduct towards women had been misrepresented.
He was also accused of taking an unsolicited photograph of a woman bending over at work while her underwear was exposed.
Dr Laming said the police found no evidence of a criminal offence and that the photo was innocent and meant to show a woman working hard on the job.
He later revealed he'd been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and to which he attributed some of his behaviour.
Henry Pike was chosen by the LNP as its candidate despite reported claims of previous fat-shaming and sexist comments.
Mr Pike explained he was a changed person after messages in a group chat from more than a decade ago.
He also said he was excited to be chosen as the LNP candidate, adding that, if elected, he would do his best to “leverage the power of the Federal Government to meet local needs”.
“The next Federal election will be extremely close,” he said.
“The beauty of the LNP is that we have a rigorous democratic process to select our candidates. I’m honoured to have been given the support of the local party members.”
“The LNP’s campaign to retain Bowman will commence immediately. I’m already reaching out to community members to seek their support and to promote the excellent work that the Morrison Government has been doing to create jobs, guarantee essential services and build a more resilient and secure Australia.”
“My focus will be to secure Redlands its fair share of investment and to be a relentless advocate for my community.”
“Our islands have experienced massive population growth and very little investment in core infrastructure. I’m extremely keen to work to find funding to finalise the green sealing program.”
Dr Laming praised all the candidates and supported the outcome.
“Twenty years to the day after being preselected for what was a Labor seat, winning it and taking it over six elections to become Greater Brisbane’s safest seat, it’s with overwhelming relief that I know Bowman will be in great hands,” he said after Sunday’s result.
“I’ve witnessed five extraordinary people and their visions for Redlands today. I am wishing Mr Pike every success going forward,” Andrew Laming told The Friendly Bay Islander.
LNP President Cynthia Hardy said Mr Pike was a hard-working young father who would represent the people of Bowman well if elected.
She also said Dr Laming had “dedicated 17 years to working and delivering for the people of Bowman”.
(This story was written using information from several national outlets including Sky News and The Age as well as speaking with Andrew Laming and Henry Pike).
• Henry Pike and family