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PM joins calls for Leyonhjelm to apologise for Hanson-Young attack


Malcolm Turnbull has called for David Leyonhjelm to apologise for his offensive comments to Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young, saying it’s not too late to withdraw his remarks.

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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 interviews on Sky News and 3AW.

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

“It was clearly offensive, it should have been withdrawn and apologised for. It’s not too late for him to do so now,” Turnbull told reporters in Sydney today.

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

“He’s slut-shaming me,” Hanson-Young told ABC radio today.

“Women right around this country know it, decent men know it, and I’m not prepared to sit here and be intimated and bullied.”

The South Australian senator is taking legal advice from Kennedys reputational risk lawyer Rebekah Giles about a possible defamation action.

Giles has already sent letters to Leyonhjelm, broadcaster Sky News and Melbourne radio station 3AW.

An emotional Hanson-Young said Leyonhjelm suggested she was sexually promiscuous and were made because he was losing a political debate in parliament over women’s safety.

“I’d had enough of men in that place using sexism, sexist slurs and sexual innuendo as part of their intimidation and bullying on the floor of the parliament,” she said.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten urged Leyonhjelm to apologise.

“Every day it goes on he adds hurt to injury,” Shorten told reporters in Caboolture.

Leyonhjelm told The Australian he would apologise and “forgive” Hanson-Young if she met a list of conditions including a public declaration she “no longer believes men are collectively responsible for the actions of men who commit violence”.

“I am opposed to misandry, I am opposed to misogyny and I am entitled to call out double standards,” Leyonhjelm said.

Asked on Nine Network if she believed all men are rapists, Hanson-Young said “no, I do not, but I do believe that David Leyonhjelm is unfit to be in the Australian parliament”.


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