Slipper quits in sexism brawl


Underlying tensions simmered during parliament question time today, despite no mention of Peter Slipper’s shock resignation.

The former speaker surprised no-one by supporting Labor this morning in his first vote since resigning.

Mitchell Dunk reports.

TRANSCRIPT

Manager of Opposition Business in the House, Christopher Pyne had one thing on his mind today following accusations of sexism against Tony Abbott during yesterday’s question time.

Christopher Pyne Manager for Opposition Business Lib: “The leader of the house described the member as a bloke, I put it to you that if I described one of the members over there as a sheila I’d be accused of making a sexist remark so I ask you to withdraw it.”

Shots were taken yesterday in a vitriolic debate where a motion by the opposition to remove Peter Slipper was narrowly defeated.

Despite this, both sides offered condolences to the former speaker, following his surprise resignation.

Julia Gillard, Prime Minister: “Each of us would wish the best for him and his family at what is clearly a distressing and pressured time.”

Tony Abbott, Opposition Leader: “Tonight the member for Fisher has shown that in this important respect he has good judgement.”

Mr Slipper’s return to the cross benches leaves the Government with a mere one seat majority in the House of Representatives.

With former Labor MP Craig Thomson also being relegated amidst the Health Services Union scandal, Labor needs support from five crossbenchers to pass legislation.

Mitchell Dunk, QUT News.