Labor leader Bill Shorten has been told to “toughen the f*** up” in a brutal Twitter attack from retired Labor MP Steve Gibbons on Tuesday night.
Mr Gibbons, who was the member for Bendigo until 2013, blasted the opposition leader for “constantly letting [Prime Minister Tony] Abbott off the hook” and called him “hopeless”.
The scathing critique was in response to a Tweet from Mr Shorten about a Fairfax report on Mr Abbott, which he said he ‘sincerely hoped’ wasn’t true.
The report alleges Mr Abbott’s office told Peter Stephens, the partner of Australia’s ambassador to France, Stephen Brady, to wait in the car while he greeted the prime minister in Paris on Anzac Day.
Within minutes, Mr Gibbons responded to Mr Shorten and compared him to former Labor leader Kim Beazely who served as opposition leader when John Howard was in office.
“Mate, You have to toughen the f*** up, you are constantly letting Abbott off the hook. Beazely did the same #hopeless,” he wrote.
The tweet has been favourited 52 times and shared another 65 times.
When contacted by Fairfax media, Mr Gibbons said he had “no intention” of making any further comments.
“I’m retired, I’m no longer an MP, I’m no longer on the public purse, so go away,” he said.