The rift between Tony Abbott and Julie Bishop has deepened, with the Prime Minister accusing his deputy of sexism.
The accusation follows ongoing conflict between Ms Bishop and Mr Abbott’s chief of staff, Peta Credlin.
Matters came to a head after the Prime Minister’s office required Ms Bishop to take Trade Minister Andrew Robb as a male chaperone to the United Nations climate change conference in Peru.
When she came to his office to complain, Mr Abbott told Ms Bishop to take a long hard look at herself and accused her of attacking Ms Credlin because she was female.
“Do you really think my chief of staff would be under this kind of criticism if her name was Peter as opposed to Peta?” the Prime Minister told the ABC this week.
According to a source within the Prime Minister’s office, Mr Abbott told Ms Bishop that the idea that she should go to Peru on her own was also incredibly sexist.
“As the PM explained, the idea that a woman should clean up a mess left by men is incredibly old-fashioned and very patronising.”
“If men can help change nappies these days, they can help change climate too.”
According to the source, Ms Bishop did not respond well to the criticism and “carried on like a woman for a bit”.
However, after being told by the Prime Minister to “man up”, Ms Bishop pulled herself together and apologised to Ms Credlin for her sexist behaviour.
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