Gillard vows never to talk to Jones again

<i>Illustration: Rocco Fazzari</i>
Illustration: Rocco Fazzari

JULIA GILLARD has wiped Alan Jones from her life, saying she will never talk to him again, either on radio or in person.

In her first appearance since Jones was reported telling a Liberal function Ms Gillard's father died of shame over his daughter's lies, the Prime Minister sought to draw a curtain on the episode, saying she did not want to talk about it.

When asked whether she would appear on Jones's program again, she said: ''No, I would not.''

Jones says he has tried to ring Ms Gillard to apologise in person but Ms Gillard said he was wasting his time. ''I haven't spoken to Mr Jones and I don't intend to,'' she said.

Ms Gillard's father, John, died last month aged 83. She said she and her family had been overwhelmed by the thousands of Australians who had expressed their support.

Jones was recorded 12 days ago telling a Sydney University Liberal Club function Mr Gillard had died because of the lies his daughter told. A jacket made from a chaff bag was also autographed by Jones and auctioned. Previously, Jones has said Ms Gillard should be tied in a chaff bag and dumped at sea.

A Liberal MP at the function, Alex Hawke, said the auction was ''having a go at Alan Jones''.

''It was meant to be light-hearted,'' he said.

While Ms Gillard chose to stay above the fray, her ministers continued to attack Jones yesterday and seek to implicate the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, by claiming he had created the environment of personal abuse that encouraged conservative commentators to make offensive remarks.

The Treasurer, Wayne Swan, and the manager of government business, Anthony Albanese, noted how Mr Abbott had once said Ms Gillard had a target on her head.

Kevin Rudd has also been attacking Mr Abbott and Jones. But the manager of opposition business, Christopher Pyne, noted how Mr Rudd, after becoming opposition leader in December 2006, had sought Jones's support.

''The grotesque sucking up to Alan Jones by Kevin Rudd on his program was slightly vomitous when he was leader of the opposition,'' he said.

''There was nothing he wouldn't do for Alan Jones … and now he has the gall to lecture the Liberal Party about Alan Jones.''

The mining billionaire and Queensland Liberal National Party figure Clive Palmer empathised with Ms Gillard.

''Certainly a situation like that is very unfortunate for the Prime Minister and I'm certainly deeply concerned about her, her family and her feelings,'' he said.

This story Gillard vows never to talk to Jones again first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.