Nick Xenophon candidate fired over 'appalling' Rihanna photo

Less than 24 hours after announcing his return to state politics, Nick Xenophon has been forced to fire one of his candidates.

Rhys Adams was set to represent the SA best party in the seat of Finniss - but after a Facebook photo emerged of him poking fun at domestic violence, he was sacked.

The 26 year old was pictured with his fist up to the face of a wax model of singer Rihanna with the caption "it's Chris baby", an apparent reference to her 2009 physical assault at the hands of her ex boyfriend Chris Brown.

In another post he's seen groping a model of actress Toni Collette.

Rhys Adams was fired over this photo - an apparent reference at Rihanna's assault at the hands of Chris Brown. Source: 7 News
In another post he's seen groping a model of actress Toni Collette. Source: 7 News

“The post making fun of domestic violence was appalling. It is not acceptable and I acted immediately,” Mr Xenophon said.

“They do not of course reflect his views but domestic violence is one issue that you cannot make fun of.”

He says the sacked candidate has apologised but insisted the credibility of his other candidates shouldn’t be questioned.

“We have a good vetting process,” he added.

Nick Xenophon has set his sights on holding the balance of power in our state's lower house but today's embarrassing episode has given his political opponents plenty of ammo.

“Clearly on day one we now have the chaos party,” Deputy opposition leader Vickie Chapman said.

The liberals came out swinging this morning demanding Xenophon reveal his stance on policies like the state bank tax and the ESL.

Nick Xenophon described the post as

“He needs to come clean,” she added.

As Kelly Vincent launched the Dignity Party's candidates, she questioned Xenophon's motives.

“He went to the senate to save SA and now he has to suddenly come back here to save SA,” Ms Vincent told 7 News.

She suspects it has much to do with the upcoming high court ruling on his citizenship.