Sussan Ley defends Tony Abbott

Member for Farrer Sussan Ley
Member for Farrer Sussan Ley

TONY Abbott is no sexist, says Sussan Ley.

The member for Farrer yesterday defended the Prime Minister after retiring Liberal Senator Sue Boyce accused Mr Abbott, and other older Coalition MPs, of sexism.

Senator Boyce had said Mr Abbott was one of many “subtle sexists” in Parliament, but Ms Ley said the comment was “ridiculous” and “absolutely wrong”.

“I couldn’t disagree more with what she said,” she said.

“I’ve known Tony Abbott as a colleague for more than 13 years ... I’ve been a member of his ministry and member of his shadow ministry.

“He consults with everybody.

“He’s probably one of the most consultative leaders I’ve worked with across my entire working career, not just in politics.”

Senator Boyce said she thought Julia Gillard’s misogyny speech was “powerful” and within context, “brilliant” and that there were many older Coalition MPs who “yearned for the life when proper mothers stayed home and looked after the children”.

She did concede, however, that Mr Abbott, during her time in Canberra, had been more willing to listen to the views of women than many of her male colleagues.