Radio host Alan Jones has come under fire for telling Prime Minister Scott Morrison to "shove a sock down [Jacinda Ardern's] throat" after she urged Australia to act on climate change.
Scott Morrison has joined the growing voices calling for Alan Jones to apologise to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for "his latest misogynistic rant" after the shock jock came under fire for telling the PM to "shove a sock down her throat".
On Thursday, Mr Jones took aim at Ms Ardern after she urged Australia to act on climate change or "answer to the Pacific" while at the Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvalu on Wednesday.
“Here she is preaching on global warming and saying that we’ve got to do something about climate change,” Mr Jones said on radio station 2GB.
“I just wonder whether Scott Morrison is going to be fully briefed to shove a sock down her throat.”
But Mr Morrison hit back.
"The comment has been relayed to me; on what’s been reported to me, I find that very disappointing and of course that’s way out of line," he said from Tuvalu on Thursday, according to The Guardian.
“I have two daughters, so you can expect that’s how I would feel personally about it. I’ll leave others to explain what they’ve said and how they’ve said it."
Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull also called out the broadcaster, taking to social media on Thursday evening to respond to a tweet from Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama slamming the radio host's provocative statement.
"Easy to tell someone to shove a sock down a throat when you’re sitting in the comfort of a studio," Mr Bainimarama wrote.
"The people of the Pacific, forced to abandon their homes due to climate change, don’t have that luxury. Try saying it to a Tuvaluan child pleading for help."
Mr Turnbull agreed with Mr Bainimarama's tweet, adding: "When I announced Australia’s Pacific Step Up in 2016 climate action was a key priority. It may be political to some, but it’s existential in the Pacific."
According to The New Daily, Mr Jones said he meant to say that Mr Ardern should put her own sock in her mouth, not that Mr Morrison should forcibly do it.
“There are many people who would relish the opportunity to misinterpret things that I have said as we have seen online this afternoon. Of course, I would not wish any harm to Jacinda Ardern,” Mr Jones told The New Daily.
“This willful misinterpretation distracts from my point that she was wrong about climate change and wrong about Australia’s contribution to carbon dioxide levels.”
Mr Jones has used aggressive language towards female politicians before, most notably in 2011 when he said then-prime minister Julia Gillard should be “put in a chaff bag and thrown out to sea”.