Lauren Southern accuses NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of 'virtue signalling nonsense'

Lauren Southern has hit back at Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, claiming her comments about New Zealand being "hostile" to the controversial far-right speaker's views are "nonsense".

After Ms Southern and Stefan Molyneux's speaking event was cancelled at Auckland's Powerstation, the pair took to YouTube to declare New Zealand hostile to free speech.

Ms Ardern responded to that accusation on Saturday, saying that New Zealand wasn't "hostile" to free speech - just to their views.

"I think [New Zealand] is hostile to their views... Look, they are here because there were no grounds to block them being here. That does not mean we welcome their views," she said.

"I think you'll see from the reaction they've had from New Zealanders that their views are not those that are shared by this country, and I'm quite proud of that."

Ms Southern has since criticised the Prime Minister, labelling Ms Ardern's comments "virtue signalling nonsense".

"A blatant display of the limits of 'tolerance' and 'diversity'. You say you support multiculturalism/different views/diversity  but you can't even support different opinion," she tweeted.

It was followed by another tweet on Sunday morning accusing the New Zealand Government of intervening in stopping her gig going ahead.

Ms Southern had also previously replied to a Green Party tweet, which asked New Zealanders to stand up for Kiwi values when "hate speech washes up on our shores".

"You stand for women's rights until that woman disagrees with your narrative," Ms Southern said. She then ridiculed MP Golriz Ghahraman, asking 'Do you have a string on your back that we pull and you just repeat 'we love diversity'?"

The controversial pair's event had been called off last minute by the owners of central Auckland venue The Powerstation on Friday. 

Roughly 1000 protestors gathered later than evening in Auckland's Aotea Square, celebrating the gig's cancellation, which they said had nothing to do with freedom of speech.

On Saturday morning, a small group of about 30 people gathered in Aotea Square to "stand for freedom of speech".


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