The Other Shoe

By DeusExMacintosh

Mrs Petrov's shoe

JULIA Gillard’s office has been rocked by the resignation of a media adviser who helped spread information used to incite an Aboriginal tent embassy riot.

Tony Hodges, who has worked in the Prime Minister’s office since 2009, told an unnamed source that Tony Abbott would be at an awards ceremony near to the Aboriginal tent embassy in Canberra on Thursday.

The PM’s office said the information was passed to activists angry at Mr Abbott just before an ugly protest led to a dramatic police rescue of Ms Gillard and Mr Abbott. Police say there was a clear threat to the PM’s safety during the protest, and images of Ms Gillard stumbling and losing a shoe have been beamed around the world.

Mr Hodge’s shock resignation is a major embarrassment for Ms Gillard and came hours after the PM said she had no knowledge of a staff member spreading information.

The revelation risks overshadowing praise Ms Gillard received for showing a cool head during the protest, when she expressed concern for Mr Abbott’s safety. Ms Gillard said yesterday morning it was “complete news to me” when asked if a staff member had contacted activists.

“I haven’t had time to look at the matter or anything like that,” she said.

But in a statement last night she said an unnamed adviser had resigned.

“A member of the Prime Minister’s media unit did call another individual yesterday and disclosed the presence of the Opposition Leader at the Lobby restaurant,” a spokesman for the PM said.

“This information was subsequently passed on to a member of the Aboriginal tent embassy. During that discussion, the staff member did not in any way suggest or encourage violence or demonstration.

“Nevertheless, given the circumstances of yesterday’s function at the Lobby restaurant, this action was an error of judgment. As such, the staff member’s resignation has been accepted.”

The dramatic rescue of the Prime Minister, who was dragged from the restaurant by a bodyguard, caused international headlines.

The issue was sparked after Mr Abbott said it was time for Aboriginal activists to “move on” when asked if the protest movement was still relevant 40 years after it was set up.

The Courier Mail

And in case you were wondering about that first shoe

7 Comments

  1. paul walter
    Posted January 28, 2012 at 4:48 am | Permalink

    A juvenile thing. It’s right he’s ass-holed, a number of people including his own boss could have been accidentally injured. Beyond that, he has compromised Ms. Gillard’s credibility. My impression was that she was genuinely unsettled during the incident, so it’ll not matter how innocent she is, there may be speculation.

  2. Patrick
    Posted January 28, 2012 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    What an idiot.

  3. hommyl
    Posted January 28, 2012 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    When did Gillard express concern for Tony Abbott’s safety?

  4. Posted January 28, 2012 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Click on the ‘protesters should be ashamed’ video link at the top of this article, hommyl. It’s quite a good report, actually:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/reports-the-prime-ministers-office-encouraged-protesters-to-target-tony-abbott-over-tent-embassy/story-fn59niix-1226255195987

  5. hommyl
    Posted January 28, 2012 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Thanks skepticlawyer, it was quite funny seeing Julia and Tony talking at that point.

  6. Jolly
    Posted January 29, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    What? Abbott and Gillard together in the back seat of a car? Did they tear each other apart? Hmmm… tut, tut,tut.

  7. hommyl
    Posted February 1, 2012 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    hey jolly,
    remember tony and julia hugging on tv?

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