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Aus PM condemns hurling of shoe at Howard

Condemning the hurling of a shoe at Foreign Minister John Howard, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Tuesday said that there was "no excuse" for such actions.

world Updated: Oct 26, 2010 11:27 IST

Condemning the hurling of a shoe at Foreign Minister John Howard, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Tuesday said that there was "no excuse" for such actions.

"There's no excuse for that kind of disrespectful conduct towards anyone. It's the wrong thing to do," she told reporters in melbourne.

While appearing on live television on Monday night, protester Peter Gray threw his shoes at Howard as he shouted "That is for Iraqi dead".

Later, the 30-year-old said he did not plan to lob his Dunlop Volley trainers at the Minister, but became inflamed by Howard's "offensive" reply to a question.

Gray said after the footage was aired on ABC he was flooded with calls from mates who told him he could not throw.

Two shoes were thrown, but neither hit Howard who, was later blindsided when he was quizzed by David Hicks about why he was left at Guantanamo Bay military prison for five-and-a-half years.

He had just finished answering questions about the Iraq war when Gray struck.

"A lot of people have told me I throw like a girl," Gray told Jon Faine's ABC talk-back show this morning.

"I was certainly aiming to throw my shoes at him."

Gray criticised Howard on his decision to go to war in Iraq and persistently interrupted the answer before he launched his attack.

"That is for the Iraqi dead," he shouted as he threw the shoes.

A female audience member then shouted: "You've got blood on your hands", before walking out of the studio.

Gray said he didn't want to "cause chaos on the set" but was aiming to hit the former Prime Minister.

"It's very difficult for people to know what a difficult thing it (was) to do. It's quite against my own nature to hurl things at other people.

"It was a special cuircumstance...I certainly didn't want to hurt the man but I wanted to make my point known. I wanted to throw my shoes at John Howard and I did that."

Gray was escorted from the ABC's Sydney studio but later asked the producers of the show for his shoes back.