An Australian opposition leader has sparked a controversy by using “grossly sexist and offensive” words to describe Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s body at a party fundraiser menu.
The controversial menu was presented at a dinner hosted by opposition Liberal Party leader Mal Brough, an ex-minister under former Prime Minister John Howard. Gillard, 51, has described the menu as a “grossly sexist and offensive”. The leader ruling Labor Party said the menu follows a “pattern of behaviour” from the opposition party.
Opposition leader Tony “Abbott’s solution to this pattern of behaviour is not to show any leadership. I mean, he’s effectively stood by Brough,” Gillard was quoted as saying by ABC News.
“Brough should be disendorsed. That’s what should happen here,” said Gillard, the nation’s first woman Prime Minister. The opposition party was forced on to the back foot in the row over sexism in politics after the menu, which contains crude references to Gillard’s body emerged online.
Abbott condemned the use of the menu card, but said it should “absolutely not” cast doubt on Brough’s pre-selection for the Sunshine Coast seat of Fisher.
“I think we should all be bigger and better than that; whether it’s a tacky, scatological menu out the front of a Liberal Party event, whether it’s squalid jokes told at union conference dinners with ministers present,” he said. Brough, an opposition candidate for the September elections, also issued an apology saying the menu was written by a non-party member.”