'It's OK to be white' bill defeated in Australian Senate

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It was alleged that the government senators pledged their support to Hanson's motion after receiving a directive from a staffer in Attorney-General Christian Porter's office, which Porter later claimed he knew nothing about, despite seemingly tweeting about the vote on Monday afternoon.

Mathias Cormann, leader of the government in the Senate, also took responsibility for what he said was a mistake.

Pauline Hanson on Monday brought forward the motion, which also declared "anti-white" racism was on the rise in Australia. "I'm sorry that happened".

"If I had said it's OK to be black, every single senator in the chamber would have voted for it", Hanson lamented in the statement.

The vote was surprisingly tight, with Australia's first parliamentarian of black African descent, Lucy Gichuhi, supporting Ms Hanson's motion, but it was ultimately defeated by 31 votes to 28 - rather implying that it is perhaps officially not okay to be white in the former British colony.

"This one was not escalated to me because it was interpreted in my office as a motion opposing racism".

Mr Morrison was disappointed senators from this own side had backed a motion that borrowed a meme used by alt-right and nationalist groups in the USA and Europe and said it was "regrettable".

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After Labor and the Greens cast doubt on the government's explanation as an administrative error, Cormann said that, while seeming implausible, it was true.

'The associations of the language were not picked up.

American white supremecist band Aggressive Force used the phrase as the title of a hate speech-filled song in 2001.

Being asked to vote on 50 to 60 motions a week - when it's your job that you're paid well to do - shouldn't be that hard. Had it been raised directly with me those issues would have been identified'.

The vote in favour of what many see as a white supremacist slogan sparked a furious backlash and demands for the resignations of ministers who backed the motion.

He called the move a "stunt", and said government explanations about the vote were "bulldust".

"It's all I need when I come in, I don't look for the whip, I look for you people [Labor]", the government senator said, in an exchange captured clearly by the Senate microphones.

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