Nick Xenophon reacts to Senator likening Huawei job to collaborating with Nazi arms sellers

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In a speech to Federal Parliament, independent senator Rex Patrick has lashed out at Nick Xenophon, who was hired to do legal work for Chinese tech giant Huawei more than two years ago.

Senator Patrick invoked Nazi Germany in his speech, comparing Mr Xenophon’s legal work for Huawei to being on the payroll of German arms manufacturers on the eve of World War II.

“[Mr Xenophon] was entitled, as a private individual, to work for whoever he wished,” Senator Patrick told the Senate on Wednesday night.

“But the choice he made was akin to someone choosing to do PR work for the German companies Krupp or Messerschmitt in 1938.”

Krupp was a major weapons supplier to the Third Reich, while Messerschmitt was an aircraft company that built planes for the Luftwaffe that were then deployed to raze European cities.

In response, Xenophon has hit back at Senator Patrick.

Nick Xenophon has taken aim at Rex Patrick.

He told Guardian Australia: “It is unbecoming of Rex Patrick to reference the lead-up to the Holocaust in a miserable attempt to dredge up some votes.”

“Rex needs to get his head out of the clouds with his military obsessions and focus on the urgent needs of everyday South Australians,” Mr Xenophon added.

This escalating war of words comes after both men recently announced their intentions to seek re-election to the Senate at the upcoming federal election.

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