Australian PM Gillard rips menu slur as 'lack of respect' by Liberals

June 12, 2013 at 11:52 AM
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CANBERRA, Australia, June 12 (UPI) -- A derogatory menu at a Liberal dinner shows the disrespect displayed by opposition leader Tony Abbott's coalition, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said.

Gillard called a menu poking fun at her at a Liberal Party event in Brisbane "grossly sexist and offensive" and Abbott condemned the menu as "tacky," the Melbourne Herald Sun reported Wednesday.

The menu was part of a Brisbane fundraiser in March for former government minister Mal Brough that was attended by about 20 people, including Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey.

Brough apologized and Hockey said he did not remember seeing the menu, which included the description, "Julia Gillard Kentucky fried quail -- small breasts, huge thighs," the Melbourne newspaper said.

Opposition officials Tuesday released an email from the alleged menu author, a businessman and owner of the restaurant that hosted the dinner.

The man reportedly told Brough's office he created a menu as "a joke," not for "public distribution."

"Unfortunately a staff member saw the mock menu, and unbeknown to me posted it on Facebook," the businessman said.

"This is Tony Abbott's Liberals. This is what they're like and I think the real risk for Australia is if Mr. Abbott was ever prime minister, it wouldn't be a question of what's on fundraising menus. We would see this lack of respect for women littered through all of his government policy documents," Gillard said.

Abbott also criticized Labor events where offensive jokes were made about his female chief of staff, but said he wouldn't back off his support of Brough.

"Whether it is a tacky scatological menu out the front of a Liberal Party event, whether it is squalid jokes told at union conference dinners with ministers present, whatever it is, I think we should be better than that," Abbott said.

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