Scott Morrison suggests ‘remarkable similarity’ between China and Solomon Islands rhetoric – as it happened

What we learned today, Friday 29 April

I hope that last post left you with a sweet taste, and that your appetite remains whetted for the weekend. The Labor campaign launch on Sunday will be interesting if there’s a new announcement, and maybe even more so if not… and the Coalition might be keen to draw attention away from it. Here’s a precis of the many things that happened today:

We’re three weeks in to a six week campaign, it’s going to get faster (and more furious). Guardian Australia will keep you posted over the weekend, and into the start of the second half of this election palaver.

Updated at 05.56 EDT

After a long day of all the news you needed, here’s your dessert:

It’s been another day full of wild words, politicians and candidates getting mired in the swamp, and leaders getting flogged with warm lettuces. Daniel Hurst has wrapped it all for you in the daily election briefing:

Nino Bucci

Nino Bucci

Social media companies have removed a misleading video posted online by Pauline Hanson that showed cartoon Labor figures discussing voter fraud.

The Australian Electoral Commission confirmed it had contacted Facebook, TikTok, Reddit, Twitter and YouTube after the video, the latest in a controversial One Nation satirical series, was posted on Friday morning.

The video depicted cartoon figures of the Labor leader, Anthony Albanese, and senator Penny Wong.

The AEC responded to a tweet asking whether the video was illegal by describing it as “deeply disappointing”.

A screenshot of Pauline Hanson's tweet of a cartoon of Anthony Albanese
Pauline Hanson tweeted the cartoon of Anthony Albanese and Penny Wong. Photograph: Twitter

In a statement, the AEC said:

Freedom of speech is important and we don’t regulate truth in campaigning or political communication. However, we’re concerned with any communication, regardless of the source, that doesn’t accurately reflect electoral processes or integrity measures we implement.

We’re active on social media to accurately reflect how we administer the federal election and refer pieces of online communication to social media organisations for their consideration when necessary.

Facebook and TikTok removed the video, while it was flagged as misleading on Twitter. It was believed to still be available on other platforms.

The AEC said:

There is no evidence that the level of apparent multiple voting in Australia has ever been sufficient to overturn the margin in any one contest. If it was to occur the result could be referred to the court of disputed returns.

We regularly receive data from births, deaths and marriages to take deceased Australians off the roll. We also validate postal vote applications against the roll prior to distribution and again upon receipt of a completed postal vote.

We’re aware that Meta [Facebook’s parent company] and TikTok have taken the video down as it violates their policies. [We are] unsure of action on other channels at this stage.

Hanson said in a statement to Guardian Australia that similar allegations to those depicted in the video had been made multiple times in Senate estimates, but a spokesperson was unable to provide specific examples.

Hanson said:

This kind of corruption depicted in the cartoon has been going on for years, it’s been exposed in Senate estimates before.

Obviously, it’s being exposed again, and the AEC has been embarrassed by that, and the ALP have been embarrassed by that, so they put pressure on the AEC to get it taken down.

A spokesperson for One Nation added:

It’s a shame these platforms can’t recognise satire for what it is. Those who shut down free speech fear free speech because they don’t understand it.

Comment was sought from the Labor party.

Updated at 06.11 EDT

Daniel Hurst

Daniel Hurst

The Office of National Intelligence (ONI) has promised to provide any relevant briefings to the government and opposition in line with caretaker conventions.

Readers will have seen there was a blow-up between Labor and the Coalition this week over suggestions by the home affairs minister, Karen Andrews, that China might have timed the announcement of the signing of Solomon Islands’ security agreement to influence the Australian election.

The shadow home affairs minister, Kristina Keneally, wrote to Andrews to remind her of the need to brief the opposition during the caretaker period on any critical emerging matters of national security – or otherwise to clarify her comments.

The ONI – Australia’s top intelligence agency – declined to comment on that specific issue. But when asked by Guardian Australia to explain how it would handle the bipartisan briefings during the caretaker period if the Australian intelligence community gained information or formed a view about an act or attempt of foreign interference, a spokesperson for ONI said:

Any ONI briefings to the government and opposition would be undertaken in-line with the caretaker conventions.

Late on Thursday, Andrews appeared to back away from her original comments, arguing they had been misinterpreted. Andrews told Sky News:

I was very careful with my words and what I indicated is that questions seriously should be asked about the timing of that agreement, and I think that what has happened since then is that there has been some commentary from some pretty significant people about what they think the options might be …

I think what I said yesterday was entirely reasonable and I’ve had a lot of feedback from many people I’ve spoken to since then and they’re very firmly of the view we should be questioning the timing of these agreements and what the future is going to be in that area. That is, in my view, an entirely reasonable line of questioning.

Notably, Andrews did not state that her original remarks were based on intelligence briefings.

Updated at 04.30 EDT

Speaking of Aukus…

Just in from Paul Karp:

Prime minister Scott Morrison goes for a spin:

Ben Smee has written this explainer on preference deals, and how they can be a wedge, but can also turn into a reverse wedgie:

The defence minister, Peter Dutton, is on Sky News, talking to host Chris Kenny.

Kenny is asking about the Aukus deal, and where New Zealand sits with it because they have a nuclear ban. Should NZ get over the ban?

Dutton says NZ wants to “walk more closely with us”, and adds that Canada and the other Five Eyes countries are keen to be more involved in the Aukus arrangement.

Aukus underpins our security, Dutton says, and it’s not just the nuclear powered submarines, there’s cooperation on cybersecurity as well.

Kenny asks about Solomon Islands prime minister Manasseh Sogavare’s comments. Sogavare said the Pacific wasn’t consulted on Aukus.

(Daniel Hurst wrote about those comments earlier.)

Dutton says:

We obviously reached out to all of our near neighbours – but before the announcement it was really only the US, the UK and Australia who were privy to those negotiations.

It was necessary, in the country’s best interest, and in the region’s best interest … to maintain that peace and not be in a situation where we’re surrendering our sovereignty, or being in an unstable environment.

Updated at 03.27 EDT