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PM calls on Leyonhjelm to apologise for 's--t-shaming' comments

9News.com.au logo 9News.com.au 3/07/2018 Lane Calcutt

Malcolm Turnbull has called on David Leyonhjelm to apologise for comments he made about Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

The NSW Liberal Democratic Party senator told his female counterpart to "stop shagging men" during a debate in federal parliament last week and on Sunday alluded further to her private life in an interview on Sky News.

The prime minister said he couldn't remember similar language in parliament.

Sarah Hanson-Young standing in front of a building: Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young broke down talking about the abuse she copped from Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm. Picture: 9NEWS © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young broke down talking about the abuse she copped from Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm. Picture: 9NEWS

Mr Turnbull said all violence against women stemmed from disrespect, stressing the need for respect in the workplace.

"It was clearly offensive, it should have been withdrawn and apologised for. It's not too late for him to do so now," Mr Turnbull told reporters in Sydney this morning.

But Senator Leyonhjelm said he had “no intention of withdrawing or apologising”.

“I’m standing up for this assumption that men are somehow responsible for the evils of the world,” he told 9NEWS.

“The prime minister has forgotten that discrimination against men is just as bad as discrimination against women.”

a man wearing a suit and tie sitting at a table: Senator Leyonhjelm has refused to apologise for his comments made in the Senate last week. Picture: AAP © AAP Senator Leyonhjelm has refused to apologise for his comments made in the Senate last week. Picture: AAP

He said he doesn’t fear court action, urging Ms Hanson-Young to “bring it on”.

“Pointing out the fact Sarah has boyfriends is not s--t-shaming,” he said.

Senator Hanson-Young has vowed to fight against Senator Leyonhjelm's sexist slurs after firing off a legal letter to the independent upper house MP.

"He's s--t-shaming me," Senator Hanson-Young told ABC radio.

Earlier this morning, an emotional Sarah Hanson-Young called on the prime minister to condemn Senator Leyonhjelm for his “sexist slurs” about her.

At times close to tears, the Greens Senator told the TODAY Show Mr Leyonhjelm wasn’t the only one in the upper house guilty of such behaviour.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Malcolm Turnbull has called on Senator Leyonhjelm to apologise for his comments. Picture: AAP © AAP Malcolm Turnbull has called on Senator Leyonhjelm to apologise for his comments. Picture: AAP

Quoting a line Mr Turnbull has often used, Ms Hanson-Young said “the standard you walk by is the standard you accept”.

Ms Hanson-Young has engaged lawyers and is considering legal action, after Mr Leyonhjelm told her in the Senate last Thursday to stop sleeping with men. He claimed Ms Hanson has said, or inferred, all men are rapists.

He repeated the inference on Sky News, and on Melbourne radio, on the weekend.

Senator Leyonhjelm has denied making the comment, and refused to apologise.

Senator Hanson-Young denied making such an inference.

“That’s a lie,” she said.

“I never said those words. I never inferred those words. And frankly, I don’t believe them. It is simply not true.

“The truth is he is using this. He is using these comments, saying those things, to attack my character. To undermine me.

"And it’s not the first time. But it’s the last time I’m going to be silent about it. I’m not going to be silent about it.

“I’m standing up and speaking out.”

She said Senator Leyonhjelm was “unfit to be in the Australian parliament”.

She said she was standing up for women who have “copped the brunt of sexist slurs” but weren’t in a position to stand up and fight back.

Sarah Hanson-Young wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: The Greens Senator has vowed to stop the ongoing verbal abuse of women in parliament. © AAP The Greens Senator has vowed to stop the ongoing verbal abuse of women in parliament.

“I have an eleven-year-old daughter,” she said.

“And I’m trying to show her that when somebody puts you down, when a man uses sexist slurs against you because he can’t win his own political argument, that you don’t have to put up with it.

“You can stand up for yourself and you can call it out.

“He’s not the only one in that place that has uttered and yelled sexual slurs across the chamber at me.”

Senator Hanson-Young later told a media conference in Adelaide that Senator Leyonhjelm should quit.

“I’ve called this out because I thought it was appalling,” she said.

“Senator Leyonhjelm should do the right thing and resign.”

Bill Shorten said Senator Leyonhjelm should “just stand up and apologise, full stop”.

“Most people in the street actually think what he said was seriously offensive,” he said.

“Most people think what you said was stupid. Most people would expect you to apologise.” 


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