Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison was chatting happily at a campaign event at the Country Women’s Association in Albury, Australia, on Tuesday when, what was that? Oh, an egg striking him from behind.
That’s right, it’s the second high-profile egging of an Australian politician this year — the first time, of course, being when an egg was cracked on the back of Sen. Fraser Anning’s head shortly after he blamed the deadly Christchurch mosque attacks on migration.
That time, yolk dripped down the back of Anning’s closely shaved head as a number of his supporters tackled the egg assailant and held him to the floor.
On Tuesday, though, the egg failed to crack, instead bouncing right off the back of the prime minister’s head like a tennis ball. Looks like the woman who threw it got her hands on a bad egg.
In the scuffle that followed, it wasn’t the egger who was knocked down but a 70-year-old woman nearby. She had recently undergone surgery and was worried about further injuring herself.
“My main concern was holding my stomach to make sure it didn’t get hit,” the woman, Margaret Baxter, told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
Morrison tweeted concern for Baxter and that he helped her up off the ground and “gave her a hug.”
“Our farmers have to put up with these same idiots who are invading their farms and their homes,” Morrison wrote.
There have been recent tensions between vegan activists and animal farmers in Australia, although it seems unlikely that a vegan’s weapon of choice would be an egg. And while Morrison seemed to indicate that the egg thrower was to blame for Baxter’s fall, the Associated Press reported that Baxter said it was actually a nearby cameraman who knocked her over during the scuffle.
A 24-year-old woman was arrested following the egging, and the AP identified her as Amber Holt. She was charged with drug possession and common assault, after police said they found cannabis on her during a search.
“A woman has been charged after allegedly striking the Prime Minister with an egg at an event in Albury earlier today,” New South Wales police said in a statement. “The prime minister’s security team quickly detained the woman. During the incident, a 70-year-old woman fell to the ground. No injuries were reported.”
The motive behind Holt’s actions was not immediately clear, although she is due to appear in court on May 27.
After footage of Anning being egged went viral, Will Connolly, the teenage suspect, was quickly dubbed “egg boy.” A crowdfunding campaign raised tens of thousands of dollars for his potential legal fees, as many critics of Anning responded with fury over his remarks about the Christchurch attack and were enraged that he responded to the egging by striking his assailant in the face.
Australian authorities later decided not to press charges against the senator, saying his actions were “treated as self-defense.” Connolly, for his part, was given an “official caution.”
This time around, some on social media jumped to call the perpetrator “egg girl.” But it’s unclear whether she’ll gain as much popularity as “egg boy."
Opposition leader Bill Shorten said she exhibited “appalling and disgraceful behavior,” Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported.
“If this protester thinks she will get sympathy or support from me, she couldn’t be more wrong,” he said.