An MP has been told he needs to cover up his forearm tattoos while in Parliament House because they ‘intimidate’ other politicians.
An MP has been told he needs to cover up his forearm tattoos while in Parliament House because they ‘intimidate’ other politicians.

MP told to cover up ‘intimidating’ tatts

A ROOKIE Queensland MP was told to cover his tattoos in the corridors of Parliament House because the two buddhas inked on his forearm "intimidate" other politicians.

But Herbert MP Philip Thompson, an Army Veteran, has openly scoffed at the warning which was delivered by political staffers, vowing to keep his sleeves rolled up when parliament resumes this week.

Less than a year into his first parliamentary term, Mr Thompson, 32, was stopped in the corridors by two staffers who delivered the message for their unnamed boss.

MP Phil Thompson has been told to cover up his tattoos when at Parliament House. Picture: Alix Sweeney
MP Phil Thompson has been told to cover up his tattoos when at Parliament House. Picture: Alix Sweeney

"I laughed, I thought it was hilarious and I got told it was very serious," he said.

"After I finished laughing in their face I asked who they worked for and they said, 'oh I don't want to get into this' and I thought, 'I really need to know'."

"They said, 'listen, I'm not telling you but you need to know that it's from more than one person and you need to be more mindful of other people'."

"Then I laughed again in their face and said if their boss wants to come to my office I'm more than happy to get my staff to escort them around and if they feel like they're being intimidated they could quickly run."

One of Phil Thompson’s ‘intimidating’ buddhas
One of Phil Thompson’s ‘intimidating’ buddhas

The former infantry soldier and this Parliament's youngest MP said he got inked in Thailand after a deep spiritual conversation with a Buddhist monk.

"It was like, the sleeping buddha looks over you while you're sleeping and happy-man buddha keeps you on the right path and the next thing you know I've got tattoos," he said.

"We're not talking about any skulls and death or anything. We're literally talking about buddhas."

While desperate to know who sent the message, Mr Thompson, who has also been told that his beard appears intimidating, won't let it stop him rolling up his sleeves if he feels like it.

"I'm not ashamed of who I am and my tattoos," he said.

"I'm definitely not going to dress over my tattoos for some leftie that gets a little bit sooky because they see some ink on my arm," he said.

Former infantry soldier, now MP, Phil Thompson shows off his tattoos.
Former infantry soldier, now MP, Phil Thompson shows off his tattoos.

He said the incident had reinforced some of his worst impressions of politicians as being out of touch.

"This is the problem with politics, you've got all these people who have been there too long all from one age demographic and they don't represent people," he said.

"In parliament you need a truckie, a miner, a soldier, a sparky, a hairdresser, a cafe worker, a small-business owner and not just lawyers and doctors."

Originally published as MP told to cover up 'intimidating' tatts


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