MAL Brough has been embroiled in a sexism scandal after a menu mocking Prime Minister Julia Gillard from one of his fundraisers was posted on the internet.
The menu offered "Julia Gillard Kentucky Fried Quail - small breasts, huge thighs and a big red box".
Mr Brough, who is contesting the Sunshine Coast seat of Fisher for the LNP at the upcoming election, has reportedly apologised.
The ABC reported the menu was from a dinner in March and Mr Brough did not authorise it.
A former worker at the venue where the function was held said he released the menu on Twitter last night after he was upset by comments Joe Hockey made about abortion.
The worker said he first saw the menu when it was posted by a co-worker on Facebook. "I was just absolutely shocked,'' he said of his reaction.
He said he knew it was legitimate given the style of writing.
The man told the ABC he had earlier tried to flag it with the ALP, including his local MP Kevin Rudd, but there was no response.
"I just copied it. I tried to tweet it after the function, to send it to Julia Gillard, the Labor party [Sky news presenter] Peter Van Onselen and Kevin Rudd, my local member, but I didn't get a reply from any of them. I don't know if they were too busy to notice them at the time,'' he said.
But he said he tried again after seeing shadow treasurer Joe Hockey's abortion comments on Twitter.
"Gillard's comments on abortion and the Coalition are desperate and offensive. She has never deserved respect and will never receive it,'' Mr Hockey tweeted.
The comments came after Julia Gillard claimed a Tony Abbott led government would try to take away Australian women's rights to have an abortion.
"We don't want to live in an Australia where abortion again becomes the political plaything of men who think they know better,'' she told a Women for Gillard launch.
Fairfax reports the Brisbane-based fundraiser took place at the Richards and Richards restaurant on March 28 this year and was attended by Mr Hockey.
It was attended by about 30 people and apparently cost about $1000 per head.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott condemned the menu and said both sides of politics needed to "rise above that kind of tawdriness".
"I condemn it, as Mal Brough has. I think that we should all be bigger and better than that," Mr Abbott told reporters on the Gold Coast.
"Whether it's a tacky, scatological menu out the front of a Liberal Party event; whether it's squalid jokes told at union conference dinners with ministers present - whatever it is I think we should be better than that."
Asked if Mr Brough would be stripped of his pre-selection over the incident, Mr Abbott said "absolutely not".
Mr Abbott, who did not attend the function, said he could not recall whether he received an invitation.
"I'm looking to the future rather than going back scouring my diary," he said.
Joe Hockey was one senior Liberal Party figure who was at the dinner.
He took to Twitter to express his disgust.
"I don't recall ever seeing any such menu. It is offensive and inappropriate whenever it was put out and it is now," Mr Hockey tweeted.
Kevin Rudd was less forgiving during a press conference in south-western Sydney.
The former prime minister launched a scathing attack on Mr Brough, calling on him to donate "every dollar" raised at the dinner to the RSPCA.
He said Mr Brough, a Cabinet minister in the Howard government, "knew what he was doing" and should "take a long, hard look at himself".
"This bloke has been an elected representative, he was a minister in the Howard Government," Mr Rudd said.
"He sees himself as a future leader of the Liberal Party, it was his fundraiser so he obviously knew about it.
"He obviously approved it, and he thought he could get away with a snide, dirty and I think, a sexist trick.
"He got sprung, he got found out and now he's trying to run a million miles away from it."
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