Cory Bernardi has slammed the Huffington Post Australiafor attributing an email to him he says he didn’t write.

Earlier this week, an email Bernardi sent to a mother who criticised his stance on the Safe Schools Coalition was leaked to the media. In it, Bernardi says the program exposes students to “unhealthy ideas at an early age”, and says the Safe Schools website allows students to “find out more about bondage clubs and adult sex toys”. Bernardi has confirmed this email was from him.

However, he has disavowed a second email, alleged to have been sent from Bernardi to the Huffington PostThe Senator tweeted.

The email being used by [HuffPo acting politics editor] Josh Butler today is a fake. He has been conned.

Faking (or spoofing) an email is relatively easy but I suspect it might be an offence to do so. Will have to make some enquiries.”

The Huffington Post says it took steps to verify the email, but Bernardi’s office said it couldn’t reach him.

The Huffington Post’s report states that the second email was sent to it through its corrections submissions form —  a web form on the bottom of every story that allows readers to suggest corrections …


The Huffington Post’s online correction form

It appears someone used Cory Bernardi’s parliamentary email address to complete a web form at the bottom of the Huffington Post article. The second email was a justification of his original email and added the line that there is “no overwhelming stigma to same-sex parents in Australia”.

The second, fake email has since been deleted from the Huffington Post’s coverage, but Butler tweeted it in full.