• Alan Jones has once again exposed Sydney radio listeners to a racial slur. (AAP)Source: AAP
Sydney talkback host Alan Jones has apologised for using a racist expression during an on-air discussion about Australian politics.
NITV Staff Writer

23 Aug 2018 - 1:20 PM  UPDATED 23 Aug 2018 - 1:21 PM

The 2GB breakfast presenter has used an offensive expression during a live discussion about the Liberal Party leadership challenge.

With former Immigration and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton's numbers looking stronger for a second leadership challenge on Thursday, Alan Jones said Finance Minister Mathias Corman needed to declare his loyalty.

"Anyone can stand... but they are mobilising to block Dutton," he said.

"The n----- in the woodpile here, if one can use that expression – and I'm not going to yield to people who tell us that certain words in the language are forbidden – the person who's playing hard to get is Mathias Cormann."

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The phrase originated in the United States in the mid-19th Century and is thought to have referred to slaves who concealed themselves as they escaped to secure their freedom.

It was subsequently used as a metaphor to describe a hidden fact or problem, but has long been deemed offensive.

But this isn't the first time Mr Jones has said this on air. In 2012, he used the phrase to refer to Malcolm Turnbull.

"Good stuff, Tony Abbott," he said.

"You're there not to buckle at the knees just because a few little media outlets and sympathisers to Julia Gillard want you to. There's talk of Malcolm Turnbull, the n----- in the woodpile."

The conservative commentator is the most-listened to broadcaster within his time slot in Sydney, however his views regularly attract criticism. 

He told a listener in 2016 who was unimpressed by an NRL All Stars game that "we need Stolen Generations'.

In 2012, advertising was suspended on his show after he made a speech saying prime minister Julia Gillard's recently deceased father "died of shame".

He was also convicted for comments "incited hatred, serious contempt and severe ridicule of Lebanese Muslims" in the lead up to the Cronulla riots in 2005.

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