Windsor: Sophie Mirabella doesn't get country people

Sophie Mirabella
Sophie Mirabella
Retiring MP Tony Windsor has stuck by his comments about Member for Indi Sophie Mirabella's performance.

Retiring MP Tony Windsor has stuck by his comments about Member for Indi Sophie Mirabella's performance.

TONY Windsor is standing by his comments on Sophie Mirabella and believes the rest of Parliament would agree.

The outgoing federal independent MP caused social media havoc on Sunday after declaring on ABC’s Insiders program that Mrs Mirabella was the person he would miss least in politics, bestowing upon her the “nasty prize”.

Mr Windsor told The Border Mail yesterday that since the remarks, he had received a number of emails from Victorians who agreed with him.

He said he hadn’t expected such a reaction — “I was asked a question, and I gave an honest answer” — but added context to his opinion.

“My main interest is not so much about her, but that I don’t think she’s a good country member,” he said.

“I’ve seen her talk about country issues in Parliament and I don’t think she gets it; it’s pretty easy to see it’s from a city perspective.”

Mr Windsor also threw his support behind independent Indi candidate Cathy McGowan during his interview on Sunday.

Yesterday he said he had met independent candidates from Indi before and found them to be “very even and level-headed, and legitimately concerned for their area”.

He scoffed at suggestions by Mrs Mirabella that they’d had little to do with each other other than exchange “mundane, daily pleasantries”.

“She opens her mouth in Parliament and says things all the time. Her office is about 20 yards from mine. Her contributions to Parliament haven’t been the best,” he said.

“She is the nastiest — I reckon if you put it to a vote to all politicians, she’d come up No.1.”

Labor MP Craig Emerson added fuel to the fire via Twitter, saying that “campaigning against Sophie Mirabella is in the national interest”.

Mrs Mirabella said she was surprised by both members’ comments, and she in turn had had feedback from Mr Windsor’s electorate.

“Obviously the people there feel a bit robbed that they had an independent Labor candidate who was far more supportive of Julia Gillard than caucus were,” she said.

Mrs Mirabella said it was up to Tony Windsor to say what he liked and for people to pass judgment.

“But I’ll move on and focus on the issues of my electorate,” she said.