Sexism behind Gillard accusations: Milne

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Sexism behind Gillard accusations: Milne

AAPUpdated November 27, 2012, 9:19 am

Australian Greens leader Christine Milne says sexism is behind accusations about Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s past work as a lawyer.

Senator Milne said there was a “group of older, white men in Australia” who did not like the idea that at last women were coming into their own.

“They’ve never accepted the legitimacy of a woman as a prime minister and they are kicking back in every which way they can,” she told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.

She was commenting on the controversy surrounding the legal advice given by Ms Gillard to AWU officials, while she was a lawyer in the 1990s.

Ms Gillard on Monday held an extended press conference to tackle the allegations, stating the coalition was running a “sleaze and smear” campaign.

Senator Milne said parliament was “obsessing” over the issue because sections of the media “can’t accept the legitimacy of a woman as a prime minister and a minority government”.

“Well, get over it,” she said.

“We’ve got a minority government, we’ve got a woman as a prime minister.”

Shadow attorney-general George Brandis dismissed Senator Milne’s comments.

“I suppose Christine Milne would say that, wouldn’t she,” he told reporters.

The opposition was asking the most senior politician in the land to account for her conduct, Senator Brandis said.

“We are accusing her of doing the wrong thing,” he said.

“If we have come to the stage in this country where you can’t accuse a senior politician of doing the wrong thing merely because they are a woman without being accused of sexism, we have come to a pretty bad situation.”

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