Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been slammed for a father's day tribute posted to social media after he used a photo taken earlier in the year at a memorial for four children who were killed by a drunk driver in Sydney.
In the post on Sunday Mr Morrison, acknowledging the photo was from an event earlier this year, wrote that fatherhood is a "precious gift," and a "great blessing in our lives".
However, the prime minister's post sparked outrage online, after people realised the photo was taken from the launch of i4Give Day in January, an event to commemorate the four children who were killed in the accident.
"He has transformed a tribute to the deceased children into a tribute to himself as a father figure," one user tweeted.
"The context, and more importantly, the names of the deceased children have been totally erased in his post.
"Totally insensitive to bereaved parents."
The Abdallah siblings Sienna, eight, Angelina, 12, Antony, 13 and their cousin Veronique Sakr, 11, were killed when a car mounted an Oatlands footpath as they went for ice cream in January 2020.
The prime minister also came under fire after it emerged he travelled from Canberra to Sydney over the Father's Day weekend, despite strict Covid-19 lockdowns.
PM defends trip back to Sydney over Father's Day
The Prime Minister took an air force jet from Canberra to Sydney on Friday and spent the weekend in Sydney before returning to the ACT on Monday.
Health authorities granted him an exemption to return to Canberra with his movement restricted to The Lodge and Parliament House.
Currently in the ACT people are banned from travelling to NSW, unless they live in one of the approved postcodes, without an exemption.
So it turns out Scott appropriated a photo op which was to mark someone else's DEAD KIDS to make him look good on FATHERS DAY.
Total erasure of the context & deceased kids names.
Willful centring of his own parent-status.
Totally insensitive to bereaved parents. pic.twitter.com/DauGCpoRNs
— Nina Funnell, journalist & #LetUsSpeak manager (@ninafunnell) September 6, 2021
Mr Morrison's Father's Day post on social media (which he noted was from "earlier this year") was a photo from the January launch of i4Give Day, a memorial for the Abdallah and Sakr children who were killed by a drunk driver in Sydney https://t.co/IY5pG3rTWU pic.twitter.com/VdTycVlQjc
— Josh Butler (@JoshButler) September 6, 2021
"My family has received no special rules" Scott Morrison says after receiving covid exemptions and secretly travelling on a plush private jet to spend Father's Day with his family, while Aussies remain separated, isolated and locked down due to the PM's covid failures. #auspol
— PRGuy (@PRGuy17) September 7, 2021
Former labor leader Bill Shorten told Channel 9 on Tuesday that Mr Morrison showed "appalling judgment" in taking the trip when other fathers were unable to see their families during lockdown.
"It's not that he doesn't deserve to see his kids, but so does every other Australian," Mr Shorten said.
"When people are doing it tough, you've got to do it tough too.
"You can't have one rule for Mr Morrison and one rule for everyone else. I just think it's appalling judgment."
"Bill knows that the Prime Minister needs to go back and forwards between these places, to do the work, he understands that secure documents, secure discussions need to be held, so he knows all of that," Mr Morrison told Sky News on Tuesday.
He cited secure documents and conversations as the reason he needed to work from Canberra on Monday.
"And so, frankly, it's a bit of a cheap shot, particularly given the leader of the Labor Party and I both understand these arrangements and don't take issue with them.
"It's just cheap politics."
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