Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard attacks Opposition Tony Abbott over sexist remarks

Wednesday 10 October 2012 16.08
Julia Gillard accused Tony Abbott of possessing double standards when it came to sexism
Julia Gillard accused Tony Abbott of possessing double standards when it came to sexism

A scathing attack on the leader of Australia's opposition Tony Abbott as a misogynist by Prime Minister Julia Gillard has gone viral.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that its video of the speech attracted more 300,000 views on the AuBC News website and YouTube.

'Gillard' was one of the world's top trending words on Twitter, and her Question Time tirade has made headlines in the US, Britain, India, South Africa and Canada, according to the ABC.

During a heated day in parliament yesterday, Ms Gillard unleashed on Mr Abbott's character after he called for the dismissal of Australia's parliament speaker Peter Slipper.

Mr Abbott was calling for the dismissal of Mr Slipper over sending lurid text messages to a former member of staff.

The opposition leader said the speaker possessed "attitudes and values which are absolutely and utterly indefensible" .

In a fiery response, Ms Gillard accused Mr Abbott of possessing double standards when it came to sexism.

Ms Gillard said: "I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. I will not. And the government will not be lectured on sexism and misogyny by this man. Not now, not ever,"

She said: "If he wants to know what misogyny looks like in modern Australia he doesn't need a motion in the House of Representatives, he needs a mirror, that's what he needs."

Ms Gillard then recounted previous alleged quotes by Abbott, which she said had repeatedly offended her personally.

She said: "I was offended when the leader of the opposition went outside in the front of Parliament and stood in front of a sign that said 'ditch the witch'."

Ms Gillard continued: "I was offended when the leader of the opposition stood next to a sign that described me as a 'man's bitch'.

"I was offended by those things! Misogyny, sexism, every day from this leader of the opposition," she said.

Gillard's centre-left Labor Party government recruited Peter Slipper from opposition ranks to the speaker's post last November.

The move gave her administration a two-seat majority on most votes in the House of Representatives.

Her minority government is trailing the conservative opposition in opinion polls and could be forced to hold early elections if it loses a no-confidence motion in the 150-seat chamber.