Australia’s Tony Abbott backtracks from PM gaffe

Last Updated: Friday, March 30, 2012 - 15:53

Sydney: Australian opposition leader Tony Abbott backpedalled on Friday after derogatory comments about the clothes and appearance of Julia Gillard, the country`s first female Prime Minister.

The furore began when well-known Australian feminist Germaine Greer told ABC television that Gillard wore unflattering jackets and had a "big arse".

"Every time she turns round, you`ve got that strange horizontal crease, which means they`re cut too narrow in the hips," Greer said.

"You`ve got a big arse, Julia. Just get on with it."

While meeting the public at a community forum yesterday the issue came up and Abbott responded: "I know, I know, I know. Germaine Greer was right on that subject."

Today he said he regretted the remark after it was widely played on television.

"It was an off-the-cuff remark responding to an observation of a member of the public and I shouldn`t have said it and I regret it," he said.

Gillard is Australia`s first female leader and her boyfriend Tim Mathieson has previously hit out at people "bullying" her.

"Being a woman, I think she`s gets targeted quite a bit by the big boys in town," he said at the time.

"Bullying women just doesn`t work for me... calling females names does not get you anywhere," he added. (AFP)


First Published: Friday, March 30, 2012 - 15:53

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