A senior federal government MP says reports that suggest Tony Abbott snubbed the gay partner of Australia’s ambassador to France are a”disgraceful smear”.
Fairfax Media reports Stephen Brady offered to resign after his partner was excluded from an official party that greeted the prime minister in Paris late on Anzac Day.
Mr Abbott’s parliamentary secretary Alan Tudge told Sky News on Wednesday the issue was one of protocol and the “disgraceful” allegation should be withdrawn.
The reports triggered claims on social media that Mr Abbott was displaying homophobia.
But Mr Tudge said usual protocol required the ambassador to greet Mr Abbott on his own because the prime minister was travelling alone.
The article carried the implication that Mr Abbott did not want to be greeted by a gay person, the MP said.
“I think that’s a disgraceful allegation and I think that should be withdrawn.
“No such thing occurred.”