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Dumped One Nation Candidate Hits Back At Hanson Over Port Arthur Conspiracy Blog

"I made a mistake... but Pauline has made bigger mistakes."

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Dumped One Nation candidate Peter Rogers has hit back at party leader Pauline Hanson after being disendorsed by the far right wing party for a blog post alleging the Port Arthur massacre and photos of drowned refugees were fabricated.

Three weeks ago BuzzFeed News revealed Rogers, the One Nation candidate for the Queensland state seat of Mulgrave, had written a blog post claiming pictures of the body of three-year-old refugee Alan Kurdi lying face down on a Turkish beach were “fabricated” and a “lie that changed the world”.

“The whole photo thing was fabricated, as it turns out this kid was alive and well,” Rogers wrote.

Rogers also claimed the 1996 Port Arthur massacre, in which 35 people were killed, was a conspiracy to change gun laws.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson launched an investigation into Rogers and the website when BuzzFeed News broke the story three weeks ago.

On Saturday, she called Rogers and gave him his marching orders from the party.

Rogers said he was forced to hand in his resignation by Hanson's chief of staff James Ashby and still doesn't know exactly why he lost the party's support.

"I offered to resign when the issue blew up in the media, but I never expected Pauline or the party officials to accept it," he told the ABC. "Other politicians including Ms Hanson have done far worse and survived."

Rogers has since said he stands by his comments on the conspiracy theory that convicted mass murderer Martin Bryant was not the sole Port Arthur shooter and the massacre was fabricated to push then prime minister John Howard to change gun laws and initiate a gun buyback.

But he claims he had nothing to do with the post about Alan Kurdi that got him sacked. He blames a Sydney party member who built and ran the page.

"I made a mistake by allowing this guy to look after my website but Pauline has made bigger mistakes," Rogers said.

"I think the most disappointing thing about it is that I have got to go and tell my supporters now that I'm not standing for them."

Rogers said he believes he was sacked because the party has lined up a defector from the Liberal National Party to replace him.

He said he would take the next two weeks to "smell the roses" before deciding whether to run as an independent.

One Nation has lost three candidates since December when it unveiled its 36 candidates for the Queensland state election. But two LNP politicians have defected to the One Nation ranks in the past month.

Alice Workman is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Canberra.

Contact Alice Workman at alice.workman@buzzfeed.com.

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