Abbott admits he's new to ironing

Opposition leader Tony Abbott has admitted he only learned how to iron this week, after a gaffe which implied women still do 'all the ironing'.

The federal opposition leader came under fire after implying women still do all the ironing while he warned of higher electricity prices under the government's emissions trading scheme (ETS).

"What the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing is that if they get it done commercially it's going to go up in price, and their own power bills, when they switch the iron on, are going to go up," he said on Monday.

In a bid to redeem himself four days later, he ironed a pale blue shirt with white stripes on national television.

"Gee whizz, that's putting the heat on me," he told the Nine Network as he steamed the iron.

"An important tip for beginners is we do the collar like so.

"Look, I admit that this is not, this is not a skill I've had for a long time and it's not a skill I have in any way mastered.

"I started this week, okay?"

Mr Abbott said he was the type of bloke who thought if you hang your shirt up you could avoid using the iron.

"If you had to do more than that you'd iron the front and then you'd put the jacket on and the jacket would look after the rest," he said.

As he finished ironing the shirt he said: "Look how good it's turned out".

Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard said she ironed the skirt she wore into the television studio.

Mr Abbott's ironing remark comes after another comment that prompted critics to argue he is out of touch with modern Australia.

He told The Australian Women's Weekly in an article published in January he would advise his daughters not to give away their virginity "lightly".

It is "the greatest gift" you can give someone, Mr Abbott said.

Source AAP

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