The endorsed Queensland Liberal National party candidate, policeman Jim Bellos, has apologised for social media posts referring to a female journalist as a “cow” and a “stupid sour bitch”. .
The Facebook posts by Bellos, a former Queenslander of the Year who is running at a state by-election in the south Brisbane seat of Stretton, have emerged amid a crackdown on officers’ offensive private social media activity by the Queensland police.
In the posts, from 2017, Bellos links to the now-infamous “jacketgate” off-air exchange between journalists Amber Sherlock and Julie Snook on Channel Nine.
He tagged another police officer, a sergeant, in the post.
“Cant believe you missed all of this…..check out this cow!” Bellos wrote.
He then responded to another comment: “Obviously she needs a good shag. She needs more than that! Stupid sour bitch! Straight to her phone to have BBF,” Bellos said.
Guardian Australia understands BBF is a reference to “big bitching fit”.
Bellos issued an apology after being contacted by the Guardian.
“I apologise for these Facebook posts. They don’t reflect my 30 years of protecting vulnerable people and serving our community,” he said.
“My life and work is focused on bringing people together, and this is a valuable reminder of how important it is to carefully consider what I post on social media.”
In recent years, Queensland’s LNP has come under considerable pressure for its treatment of women and a lack of diversity within the party and its elected members. It has 34 state MPs – 29 of them are white men.
“The LNP expects all members to treat people with respect and to uphold the values of the party,” a spokesman said.
“We also recognise that people make mistakes and say things that on reflection they regret. We also value how people make up for their mistakes and contribute to our community.
The LNP recently endorsed candidate Henry Pike to replace Andrew Laming in the Queensland federal seat of Bowman, after Pike was forced to apologise for a series of historic social media messages that degraded women and were described as “fat shaming”.
He has said he is a changed person since he sent the private messages.
Bellos, who works as a multicultural police liaison officer in the diverse south Brisbane electorate of Stretton, was chosen to contest the state seat after the death of the sitting member, Labor’s Duncan Pegg.
The by-election will be held on 24 July.