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Fed: Hanson photos "unfortunate" burden of public life: Smith

15 Mar 2009 11:17 AM

SYDNEY, March 15 AAP - The release of nude photographs of Queensland political candidate Pauline Hanson is "unfortunate", but an example of the burdens people in public life must sometimes bear, says federal frontbencher Stephen Smith.

The foreign affairs minister said he did not know whether the release of the photographs, reportedly taken by a then boyfriend of a 19-year-old Ms Hanson, would prove a political plus.

News Limited on Sunday published a series of photographs showing a young Ms Hanson in various stages of undress and nude.

Asked by Laurie Oakes on the Nine Network if he thought the photos' release would work in Ms Hanson's favour - like the revelation that then opposition foreign affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd had visited New York's Scores nightclub, Mr Smith said he couldn't say.

"I don't know whether they'll be a plus or a minus," Mr Smith said.

"Frankly, I think it's all a bit sad and unfortunate.

"I think the disclosure of the photos and the reason behind the disclosure, I think, is very sad.

"And, I think, the fact that anyone has photos retailed of when they were 17, 18 or 19 is unfortunate, but we are in public life and sometimes we have to bear that burden.

"Unfortunate is, I think, the best word I can use to describe it, whatever political consequences or ramifications there might be."

Ms Hanson, the One Nation founder and former federal politician, is standing as an independent candidate in the Gold Coast hinterland-based seat of Beaudesert in the March 21 Queensland election.

Ms Hanson so far on Sunday has declined to comment on the photographs' publication.