Brained

FORMER Voice editor Brian Mitchell, now the federal Labor MP for Lyons in Tasmania, got stuck into an ABC reporter telling him to “go and do your research, maggot”.

As a journo, Brian “Brain” Mitchell was known for his fiery manner when grilling pollies (and junior journalists who forgot to ask critical questions).

On Wednesday he was on the other side as ABC reporter Matt Wordsworth was quizzing Labor MP Justine Keay over her former dual citizenship.

She was a UK dual citizen but says her citizenship was properly renounced.

• ABC footage of Matt Wordsworth interviewing Justine Keay, when Brian Mitchell intervenes.

Mr Wordsworth started to ask “what’s your excuse that you…”, but Mr Mitchell took exception to the loaded word “excuse” and cut him off.

“Ask the right questions, don’t be prejudicial, don’t use prejudicial language,” Mr Mitchell told him, sounding like he was back in our Freo office talking to a cadet.

Ms Keay said she had a legal opinion that her nomination was valid, and Mr Mitchell added “go and do your research maggot, there’s 22 pages of research on this”.

He then made a statement in parliament saying “earlier today I saw some vision on ABC TV which included some heated words from myself towards a gallery journalist. I have spoken to Matt Wordsworth from the ABC and apologised for the encounter. I deeply respect the work that Mr Wordsworth and all his colleagues in the press gallery do, and they should be free to do it without fear or favour”.

by DAVID BELL

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