PRIME Minister Julia Gillard ordered Member for Bendigo Steve Gibbons to remove Twitter comments labelling Opposition Leader Tony Abbott a “gutless douchebag” and Deputy Liberal Leader Julie Bishop a “narcissistic bimbo” yesterday.
He said neither were fit to be MPs, let alone prime minister and deputy, and that both should be sacked. Mr Gibbons said Ms Gillard forced him to apologise and remove the tweets, and a spokesperson for the Prime Minister said she had found the remarks offensive.
The local MP said he was not a misogynist and that while his choice of words was wrong, he stood by the sentiment.
“I stick by the trigger that caused them, and that is, this is a scandalous smear campaign run by the opposition,” he said.
“They’re made out of frustration with the way the opposition have been running a smear campaign against the government and PM for the last week or 10 days, knRowing they have no evidence to suggest anything inappropriate done by the PM either now or 20 years ago.
“They’re using smear and innuendo and I’ve quite frankly had a gutful of it.
“If I see something I think is inappropriate, and I think the opposition deserves to be attacked, I’ll continue to attack them.”
Julie Bishop said the tweets showed the “utter hypocrisy of the Labor Party and the prime minister”.
Families Minister Jenny Macklin said Mr Gibbons’ language was inappropriate and Sydney ALP member Ed Husic said he was “way out of line”.
Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Status of Women Michaelia Cash said the prime minister should stand Mr Gibbons down as deputy chairman of the Standing Committee on Regional Australia and said failing to do so would “confirm that her statements in relation to misogyny and sexism are worth nothing”.
Mr Gibbons said he wouldn’t change his approach to politics and would ignore Senator Cash.
“I’m not about to take any notice of an opposition backbencher,” he said.
“You can’t change who you are.
“If people don’t like it, that’s fine, I don’t have a problem with that.
“There are a whole range of major policy initiatives we’ve put forward and are delivering and all the opposition can do is run a smear campaign.”
It’s not the first time Mr Gibbons has been in hot water over Twitter comments.
Earlier this year he referred to Kevin Rudd as a “psychopath with a giant ego”.