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Oz student calls Obama a 'monkey'

An Australian medical student and a member of a political party has called US President Barack Obama a "monkey" on Twitter, a remark that has sparked a racism row and demands for his expulsion.

world Updated: Apr 17, 2010 01:33 IST

An Australian medical student and a member of a political party has called US President Barack Obama a "monkey" on Twitter, a remark that has sparked a racism row and demands for his expulsion.

A member of the Queensland Young Liberal National Party, Nick Sowden, also a medical student at the University of Queensland posted messages on Twitter last night while US President Barack Obama was being interviewed by ABC's Kerry O'Brien, according to 'Courier Mail' daily.

"I'm not sure why they paid kerry to fly to America (sic), if they wanted an interview with a monkey surely a ferry to Taronga would have sufficed," the tweet said.

"If I wanted to see a monkey on TV I'd watch Wildlife Rescue," said another. Sowden today however, tried to defend his statement on a radio channel stating that his comments were taken out of context.

He said it was a joke between friends.

"I think the people follow me know (it's a joke) and the people who are my friends know…and the people on Twitter don’t unfortunately," he said.

Sowden said he had not yet heard from the LNP president and could not confirm rumours he would be expelled from the party. The comments sparked a harsh backlash on Twitter and by bloggers.

"It's amazing that in the space of one hour and 4 tweets @nicksowden's political career has probably ended before it even began," said one tweet.

Several asked whether the account had been hijacked. The account has since been closed down.