Nick Xenophon sacks Finniss candidate

Nick Xenophon.

Nick Xenophon.

REGION – Social media has claimed the political aspirations of a candidate for Finniss before the March state election campaign officially begins.

Nick Xenophon’s SA Best Team endorsed Rhys Adams as its candidate to contest the seat of Finniss, but the revelation of Mr Adams in Facebook photos with a fist to Madame Tussauds model of pop star Rihanna’s head led to his immediate axing.

Senator Xenophon made the decision to end Mr Adams' candidacy after being shown the photos.

“There's meant to be a process of vetting for social media and I am very unimpressed and quite appalled," Mr Xenophon said. 

"I've spoken to Rhys Adams — he will no longer be a candidate. I've acted on this immediately because this is an issue that you cannot tolerate, particularly when it comes to domestic violence.

"I think this will give people an indication of how this campaign will be run. It will be run with crystal clarity about what we want to achieve for the state."

Mr Xenophon said the incident had prompted a review of his party's processes. 

"It doesn't mean he in any way condones domestic violence. It was a foolish thing to do and he didn't do it with any malicious intent, but these are things you cannot joke about it,” Mr Xenophon said.

Mr Adams said the photos are from years ago.

“Back then I didn't take into account those that may be hurt by what I now reflect on as a very poor taste joke, which certainly doesn't reflect my mindset or my values. I am certainly sorry for any offence I've cause and I wish the SA Best team the very best going forward,” Mr Adams said.

Nick Xenophom Team and Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie said poor behaviour will not be tolerated.

“It is good the action was immediate because any action perpetuating family violence is unacceptable. It goes to show as a state party there is zero tolerance on this,” Ms Sharkie said.