Protester tosses egg at Australian prime minister

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MELBOURNE (Reuters) – A 25-year-old woman threw an egg at Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s head at an election campaign event on Tuesday and was arrested, New South Wales state police said.

Security guards swiftly pounced on the protester, who was wearing a beanie and casual clothes, and dragged her away.

“Officers from the Murray River police district placed the woman under arrest after she allegedly threw an egg at the prime minister during a Country Women’s Association event at Albury Entertainment Centre,” the police statement said.

“The egg appears to have struck the prime minister on the head,” police said.

They did not disclose the protester’s name.

Morrison rubbed his head briefly after the egg was tossed and then helped an elderly woman who was pushed to the floor in the scuffle, television images showed.

No injuries were reported, the police said.

“We will stand up to thuggery whether it’s these cowardly activists who have no respect for anyone, or militant unionists standing over small businesses and their employees on work sites,” Morrison said in a message on his Twitter feed.

The incident occurred during a visit by the prime minister to Albury, a constituency in New South Wales, where an independent candidate is the bookmakers’ favourite as rural voters desert the government.

The woman protester later told reporters that her action “speaks for itself” and referred to Manus Island, in Papua New Guinea, where Australia has long detained refugees, according to a reporter with the Australian newspaper.

In March, a teenager smashed an egg onto the head of a controversial right-wing Australian lawmaker who had blamed New Zealand’s mass mosque shootings on its immigration programme.

Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Robert Birsel and Michael PerryOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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