Australia

Government apologises for booting ABC journalist over 'bare arms'

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The government has expressed regret after Patricia Karvelas was kicked out of the press gallery on Monday.

The Federal Government has apologised to ABC journalist Patricia Karvelas after she was removed from Question Time on Monday for wearing a short sleeve top.

Ms Karvelas was kicked out of the press gallery after an official deemed her to be in breach of the dress code, or as the reporter tweeted "because you can allegedly see too much skin".

In parliament on Tuesday, Leader of the House Christopher Pyne apologised to Ms Karvelas.

"I would like to apologise on behalf of this side of the House to Ms Karvelas for being ejected yesterday from the press gallery," he said.

Speaker Tony Smith said the move was a mistake.

"The journalist in question was attired in a way which would be reasonably considered professional business attire," he said.

"She should, in hindsight, not have been asked to leave."

Ms Karvelas later tweeted she was "pleased that female journalists will be free to wear professional clothing that reflects what politicians wear".

The incident had attracted a fierce social media backlash with politicians and fellow journalists slamming the decision.

According to the Parliament of Australia website, "the ultimate discretion rests with the Speaker" when it comes to "dress and conduct".

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