Former Labor leader Mark Latham is trying to get back into politics as a One Nation candidate

Mark Latham 14 years ago as Labor leader, ahead of losing the federal election. Jonathan Wood/Getty Images.

Former federal Labor leader Mark Latham will attempt a political comeback at next March’s NSW state election as One Nation’s leading upper house candidate.

Latham announced his membership of One Nation on 2GB’s Alan Jones Show with the party’s leader, Pauline Hanson, saying he “just can’t stand on the sideline talking about it”.

Since leading the Labor party to a disastrous defeat against John Howard in the 2004 election, Latham has been a political commentator, but was sacked by Sky News last year for his comments about a schoolboy’s sexuality. He was previously a columnist for Australian Financial Review, but parted ways with the paper following his trolling of former Australian of the Year and domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty.

He is currently being sued for defamation by journalist Osman Faruqi and in August the judge threw out Latham’s entire 76-page defence, labelling it “extraordinary”.

One Nation is the third party Latham has joined and his second minor political party in 19 months. He joined the Liberal Democrats in 2017, but quit the party 16 months later following a dispute over his candidacy for upcoming elections.

Latham, 57, told Jones today that he wanted to return to politics because Sydney was “unliveable and dysfunctional”, citing immigration, overdevelopment and congestion among the city’s problems, as well as once again returning to a familiar theme and railing against political correctness, which was making “a real attempt to march through our institutions, to control our language, our feelings, our behaviour, to fundamentally change the nature of Australia”.

He wants to cut immigration and limit further development.

“Failings in the education system, political correctness, divisive identity politics, electricity prices have gone through the roof,” he said.

“These are all big issues that are banking up.”

He also complained that employers “discriminated against Christians, against white people, against men and boys”.

“This is a fight for our civilisational values. For free speech, for merit selection, resilience, love of country – all of them under siege from the left, and a lot of it is happening in state politics as much as federal,” Latham said.

If his campaign for One Nation is successful, he would be in state politics for eight years as a member of the Legislative Council.

Senator Pauline Hanson said her new recruit was “going to be so beneficial to the people of NSW”.

“These major political parties here won’t have their own way. We need policies that are driven with ideas and driven by good policies and to get the state moving,” she said.