HAVING been labelled a “fat man” by Prime Minister Julia Gillard, irate shadow treasurer Joe Hockey has slammed her lectures on appropriateness and misogyny.
The Liberal frontbencher has admitted being present at a fundraising dinner for party colleague Mal Brough in Brisbane earlier this year where menus made derogatory remarks about the prime minister’s appearance.
“It’s awful behaviour. Whatever was printed at that event or distributed at that event was wrong,” Mr Hockey told reporters in Melbourne on Wednesday, adding he did not recall having seen the menu.
Widely condemned by both sides of politics, the menu referred to a dinner option of “Julia Gillard Kentucky Fried Quail – Small Breasts, Huge Thighs and A Big Red Box”.
Ms Gillard said the menu was an example of the sort of behaviour people had come to expect from the Liberal Party.
“Seriously, is this the biggest event in Australia today?” asked Mr Hockey, citing job losses, national finances and education reform as the issues that should be on the political agenda.
He also took a swipe at Ms Gillard for suggesting women would be marginalised under a Tony Abbott-led coalition government, which she said would make abortion a “political plaything”.
“The prime minister yesterday called myself, my colleagues, effectively, misogynist pigs,” Mr Hockey said.
“The prime minister described me as a fat man in parliament not that long ago. I don’t think the prime minster is qualified to make these sort of comments and I would urge her to focus on running the nation, to deal with the issues that matter to Australians.”