Australian politician Anthony Antoniadis apologises for insulting would-be constituents in series of Facebook posts

Liberal candidate for next month’s South Australian election criticised “dress sense, hygiene and work ethic” of the people he now hopes will vote for him

A politician in Australia has been forced to apologise after Facebook posts emerged in which he insulted his would-be constituents.

Anthony Antoniadis runs a newsagents in Salisbury, South Australia, and is running for the Adelaide seat in next month’s elections on the back of his “strong business ties to the electorate of Ramsay”, according to his profile on the Liberal party’s website.

Yet a series of comments have emerged on Facebook, which he has admitted to posting, that appear to mock the personal hygiene and work ethic of his customers and other local residents.

According to ABC News reports, Labor said the string of “offensive” comments meant Mr Antoniadis should be dropped by his party. In one he wrote: “Mmmm, yum!!! I love it when I can smell customers from 10 meters away!”

In another he said: “If only the people standing infront of centrelink at 8am would wake up early enough to get a job ... perhaps they wouldn’t be there in the first place!”

In his profile on the Liberal Party's website, it says Mr Antoniadis “meets with community members on a regular basis to hear about their concerns”, and is “passionate about seeing greater education and employment prospects for residents in his electorate”.

Labor frontbencher Tom Koutsantonis told ABC that state Liberal leader Steven Marshall needed to act decisively.

“It is not good enough for a leader to stand by and watch his hand-picked candidate say these things about the people he chooses to represent,” he said.

The Liberal Party issued a statement saying Mr Antoniadis had been “counselled against the comments that he’s made” and that the issue had now been dealt with.

For his own part, the candidate told ABC: “Look, I apologise for comments I made on Facebook. They were made four years ago.”

He added that he had no further comment to add to the party statement.