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Hobart DJ Astro Labe charged with assault on Tony Abbott

The man charged over the alleged headbutting of former prime minister Tony Abbott has been revealed as 38-year-old DJ Astro ‘Funknukl’ Labe. 

‘I must state in no uncertain terms that this has nothing whatsoever to do with marriage equality,’ Labe told the ABC.

The arrest of the North Hobart man followed a Tasmania Police investigation prompted by a complaint made by Mr Abbott.

The alleged attacker was granted conditional bail, and will appear in Hobart Magistrates Court on October 23. 

 

The man charged over the alleged headbutting of former prime minister Tony Abbott has been revealed as 38-year-old DJ Astro ‘Funknukl’ Labe (pictured)

'I must state in no uncertain terms that this has nothing whatsoever to do with marriage equality,' Labe (pictured)

‘I must state in no uncertain terms that this has nothing whatsoever to do with marriage equality,’ Labe (pictured)

A 38-year old man has been charged with assault over the incident in which former Prime Minister Tony Abbott (pictured) was allegedly headbutted 

A 38-year old man has been charged with assault over the incident in which former Prime Minister Tony Abbott (pictured) was allegedly headbutted 

Before the arrest police had described the suspect as having facial piercings and short, spiky, sandy-coloured hair.

According to the original description he was wearing a leather jacket and a ‘Yes’ badge at the time of the alleged assault.

Mr Abbott, who was awarded a top prize for boxing at Oxford and emerged without visible injury from the alleged encounter, wasn’t impressed by his alleged assailant.

‘He wasn’t very good at it I’ve got to say,’ Mr Abbott told Andrew Bolt, and described the alleged headbutt as ‘not very effective’ at a Hobart press conference on Friday.

Before the arrest police had described the suspect as having facial piercings and short, spiky, sandy-coloured hair (pictured is Hobart DJ Astro Labe)

Before the arrest police had described the suspect as having facial piercings and short, spiky, sandy-coloured hair (pictured is Hobart DJ Astro Labe)

Is this the damage inflicted by the alleged headbutt? (pictured is Tony Abbott during a Friday morning press conference)

Is this the damage inflicted by the alleged headbutt? (pictured is Tony Abbott during a Friday morning press conference)

Mr Abbott (pictured, right) had four amateur bouts while a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, fighting as a 95 kilogram heavyweight and winning each encounter

Mr Abbott (pictured, right) had four amateur bouts while a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, fighting as a 95 kilogram heavyweight and winning each encounter

‘The only damage was a very, very slightly swollen lip.’ 

When asked whether he was tempted to fight back, the pugilistic politician said: ‘The thought certainly went through my mind’.

Mr Abbott had four amateur bouts while a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, fighting as a 95 kilogram heavyweight and winning each encounter.

‘It’s a shock to have a fellow Australian seeking to shake your hand turn a handshake into an assault, it’s a shock,’ he said.

When asked whether he was tempted to fight back, the pugilistic politician (pictured) said: 'The thought certainly went through my mind'

When asked whether he was tempted to fight back, the pugilistic politician (pictured) said: ‘The thought certainly went through my mind’

‘Normally a handshake is a sign of trust and peace, it’s a sign of two people wanting to deal openly and courteously with each other but this handshake turned into a headbutt.’

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull condemned the alleged assault and said it was no joking matter during a Friday morning interview with WSFM’s Jonesy and Amanda.

‘Every Australian condemns that [the alleged assault], there’s no place in Australia for that kind of violence,’ he said.

Tasmania Police have charged a man over the assault, which they say occurred about 4.35pm on the footpath in Morrison Street opposite Custom's House Hotel

Tasmania Police have charged a man over the assault, which they say occurred about 4.35pm on the footpath in Morrison Street opposite Custom’s House Hotel

‘We have to conduct this debate with respect, and overwhelmingly Australians are.’

‘I’ve been in touch with Tony, I’ve been in touch with the police commissioner, and I look forward to the assailant being identified and charged.’ 

A CCTV camera captured Mr Abbott walking with a staffer just moments before he was allegedly headbutted by a same-sex marriage activist.

The footage is from outside the Custom’s House Hotel on Morrisson St in Hobart, and just moments later Mr Abbott claims he was attacked by a man wearing a ‘Yes’ badge who had asked to shake his hand.

Mr Abbott (pictured) appeared uninjured in a press conference in Hobart on Friday

Mr Abbott (pictured) appeared uninjured in a press conference in Hobart on Friday

Mr Abbott (pictured, left, right) appeared uninjured in a press conference in Hobart on Friday

Mr Abbott (pictured, right) and a staffer were seen walking through Hobart through CCTV footage moments before he was allegedly attacked

Mr Abbott (pictured, right) and a staffer were seen walking through Hobart through CCTV footage moments before he was allegedly attacked

Mr Abbott brushed the alleged attack off while speaking to Andrew Bolt, but said it was a ‘reminder of how ugly [the same sex marriage] debate is getting’.

The 59-year-old claimed the man who attacked him was wearing a ‘yes’ badge, and referred to his actions as  ‘politically motivated violence’. 

‘It was just very disconcerting to find the love is love brigade, or a least someone who was advocating a yes vote, should, under the guise of wanting to shake your hand, in fact try to give you a so-called Liverpool kiss.’

The Warringah MP also claimed his assailant told him: ‘You deserve it because of all the things you’ve said’. 

A spokesperson for Tasmania Police noted officers had to contact Mr Abbott to find out what had happened, and a formal complaint was not made until afterwards. 

Pictured: The area Mr Abbott was allegedly attacked - a footpath on Morrison St opposite Custom's House Hotel

Pictured: The area Mr Abbott was allegedly attacked – a footpath on Morrison St opposite Custom’s House Hotel

Mr Bolt told his viewers a ‘big’ guy with ‘tatts’ had approached the man and asked if he could shake the former Prime Minister’s hand.

‘Abbott is a politician, he can’t say no – can’t be rude, this guy was big, tatts, all this kind of stuff,’ he said.

‘The yes badge suggested he wasn’t really a supporter but what can you do?’

Mr Bolt then alleged Mr Abbott had offered his hand and was attacked.

‘The man headbutts him in the face, goes off swearing, abusing, saying he deserved it,’ he said.  

A mural of former Prime Minister Tony Abbott getting married to himself appeared in Redfern earlier this month

A mural of former Prime Minister Tony Abbott getting married to himself appeared in Redfern earlier this month

A staffer from Mr Abbott’s office claimed he tussled with the man before he ran off ‘swearing his head off’.

The former Prime Minister was in Tasmania on Thursday to lunch with campaigners opposed to gay marriage, including Liberal Party colleague Eric Abetz.

Alex Greenwich from The Equality Campaign issued a statement condemning the alleged attack.

‘We condemn the violence against Tony Abbott that has been reported tonight,’ he said.

The former Prime Minister's stance against same-sex marriage has been well publicised, and Mr Abbott has fielded much criticism as a result (pictured is Mr Abbott at a Hobart press conference)

The former Prime Minister’s stance against same-sex marriage has been well publicised, and Mr Abbott has fielded much criticism as a result (pictured is Mr Abbott at a Hobart press conference)

‘There is never a place for violence or abuse.

‘Marriage Equality is about respect and dignity for every Australian.

‘There is no room for any disrespect either physical or verbal in this national debate.

‘Our campaign has always and will continue to call for respect and everyone involved in this debate to act in a respectful and dignified way.’

The former Prime Minister’s stance against same-sex marriage has been well publicised, and Mr Abbott has fielded much criticism as a result. 

His sister, Christine Forster, and his daughter Frances have both come out publicly in favour of allowing same-sex couples to wed legally.

Mr Abbott, who has a boxing blue from his Oxford days, wasn't impressed by his alleged assailant, who he claims was wearing a badge from the 'Yes' campaign (pictured, stock image)

Mr Abbott, who has a boxing blue from his Oxford days, wasn’t impressed by his alleged assailant, who he claims was wearing a badge from the ‘Yes’ campaign (pictured, stock image)

Social media users were quick to question Mr Abbott’s claims, stating he was not a reliable source, and not one to walk away from a fight.

One Twitter user called for eye-witnesses to come forward and verify the claims, while another suggested the reported attack was staged.

Another questioned the timing of the alleged headbutt, noting Mr Abbott’s ally Andrew Bolt was live on air at the time. 

‘It was quite coincidental that this occurred while Andrew Bolt was live… given he and Tony Abbott are best friends,’ he wrote.  

Those fighting for a 'No' vote have also gathered at rallies to say their piece (pictured)

Those fighting for a ‘No’ vote have also gathered at rallies to say their piece (pictured)

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