MELBOURNE (Reuters) – A protester threw an egg at Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison at an election campaign event on Tuesday, grazing him in the head with it, footage on Australian television showed.
Security guards swiftly pounced on the female protester, who was wearing a beanie and casual clothes, and dragged her away.
Morrison rubbed his head briefly after the egg was thrown and then helped an elderly woman who was pushed to the floor in the scuffle.
“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’ favorite as rural voters desert the government.
The woman 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 program.