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Labor defends Gladys Liu attack advert

Labor is standing behind an attack ad on Liberal MP Gladys Liu, as it vies to reclaim her ultra marginal Victorian seat.

Ms Liu won Chisholm by fewer than 1100 votes at the 2019 federal election, making it a key battleground for the May 21 poll.

The ALP is seeking to thrust the Hong Kong-born MP’s record back into the spotlight, paying for ads on social media raising national security and foreign interference allegations.

“What do we know about Liberal Gladys Liu?” one reads.

“She spread fake news on Chinese messaging apps, she and the Liberal Party had to give back $300,000 because the donors were deemed a national security risk and her campaign tried to trick voters with election day signage in the colours of the Australian Electoral Commission.

“We need someone who represents Chisholm with hard work and integrity, not tricks. You deserve better than Scott Morrison and Gladys Liu.”

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg lambasted Labor over the ad, calling it a “desperate, dishonest, racist attack” against the nation’s first Chinese-born lower house MP.

“She is a proud Australian citizen and this racist attack ad by the Labor Party has no place in our community,” he told reporters in Melbourne.

Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong, the nation’s first Asian-born member of a federal cabinet, defended the advert and said Ms Liu still had legitimate questions to answer.

“A number of these issues were raised a few years ago in the parliament and I can remember my then counterpart, Senator (Mathias) Cormann, accusing me and others of attacking Ms Liu because of her ethnic heritage, which is not the case,” she said.

“There were questions that she should have answered then and it’s legitimate for those to be answered.”

The coalition has been campaigning hard in Chisholm, with both Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Mr Frydenberg joining Ms Liu on the hustings.

The inner east Melbourne seat was previously held by former Labor Speaker Anna Burke and Liberal turned independent Julia Banks.

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