Julia Gillard Remains Tight-Lipped on Alan Jones Controversy
By Erik Pineda | October 3, 2012 2:26 PM EST
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has been silent on the Alan Jones controversy and she intends to keep it that way.
"I haven't spoken to Mr Jones and I don't intend to," said Ms Gillard as quoted by the Australian Associated Press on Wednesday.
She was well aware, the prime minister added, that everyone was waiting on her reaction to the popular broadcaster's remarks, as reported by The Daily Telegraph on Sunday, that her father, John Gillard, must have died of shame over the lies of her daughter at the Parliament.
The elder Gillard died of illness in September, forcing the Labor leader to abandon the APEC summit held in Russia and pushing her into deep grief.
Ms Gillard has professed that she lost an inspiration in the passing of the Gillard patriarch, who in 1966 moved his family from England to Australia specifically to provide a better environment for the young Julia Gillard.
Ms Gillard was then suffering from chronic chest infections, according to a Fairfax report.
The prime minister told reporters today that she's not focused on the negative words that Mr Jones had delivered in a Liberal Party gathering but rather on the support of the "tens of thousands who have been so warm ... at what has been a very difficult time for us."
"Both I and my family have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for us since the death of my father," she added.
Mr Jones' comments have been assailed as hurtful and uncalled for by both Labor and Liberal figures and led to the exodus of key corporate sponsors from his widely popular radio morning show at 2GB.
Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said on Tuesday that the 2GB radio program of Mr Jones should be boycotted.
"I think it's just time to give his program just a wide berth. I think that's the sensible attitude to be adopted around the country and I think that would be good as well," Mr Rudd was reported by News Ltd as saying yesterday.
While other Labor members disagreed with him, Mr Rudd found an ally on Treasurer Wayne Swan, who explained: "Mr Jones's behaviour is such that you can't have a sensible conversation with him."
However, Liberal frontbencher Christopher Pyne described Mr Rudd as an hypocrite, accusing the former PM of backpedalling when he as an opposition leader he "suck up grotesquely to (Mr Jones) on the radio."
"I am not going to take any advice about how to operate the Liberal Party from a person like Kevin Rudd, who is a grotesque hypocrite when it comes to Alan Jones," Mr Pyne told Sky News Australia today.
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