Tony Abbott is a sexist, admits Liberal senator
Retiring Liberal Senator Sue Boyce says Prime Minister Tony Abbott is one of Parliament's subtle sexists, and says the Coalition should be ''behaving more humanely'' towards asylum seekers. Full interview below in this article.PT0M0S 620 349
Retiring Liberal senator Sue Boyce has repeatedly, over the past 24 hours, claimed I misquoted her and has denied saying the Prime Minister was “a sexist”.
In a letter to my editor on Monday, Senator Boyce said she was “totally disgusted” with my “dishonest reporting”, but did not specify which quotes in my story were wrong.
After the editor sent me the letter, I phoned Senator Boyce. She agreed on the phone that I had accurately quoted her and added the appropriate context for her comments, but maintained she was unhappy with the tabloid “tone” and the headline.
In our interview last week Senator Boyce told me on two occasions that Tony Abbott was one of many “subtle” sexists in Parliament.
I returned to this point because I thought it was a remarkable statement.
She also criticised the Coalition – and implicitly Immigration Minister Scott Morrison – for “dog whistling” by referring to asylum seekers as “illegal maritime arrivals”.
This is another point Senator Boyce has accused me of dishonestly portraying.
You can judge for yourself by listening to the audio and transcript attached to this article.
Listen to the full Sue Boyce interview
In our interview, Senator Boyce said Mr Abbott should not be singled out as a sexist and that he was actually more enlightened towards women than many of his colleagues, particularly his older male colleagues in the National Party.
She also praised Mr Abbott's paid parental leave scheme. I noted all of this in the story.
I thought, after our phone conversation, that that might have been the end of it.
But shortly after we spoke I was sent a release that Senator Boyce had circulated to media organisations around the country.
In it, she accuses me of “grossly” misrepresenting her views. She also writes: “Mr Abbott is certainly not a sexist.”
On Tuesday, she told the Coalition party room that I had misrepresented her.
In the interests of full disclosure, I've asked our editors for permission to publish the full audio and transcript of my interview with Senator Boyce so readers can judge for themselves.
Senator Boyce may well regret her comments, but she said them and cannot rewrite history.
Read the original story here
Listen to the audio of the full interview here
Read the transcript of our interview here