Tony Abbott's sister, who is gay and marries her longtime partner with her brother by her side, has come to defend the former prime minister after he was labeled a "sexist homophobe".
He has received widespread criticism from British politicians and commentators who followed him newly appointed trade ambassador for the UK.
The former Australian Prime Minister was even described by Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon on British morning television as a "misogynist, sexist and climate change denier".
He has also been criticized for saying that the elderly should die from coronavirus to save younger generations from the economic burden.
But his young sister Christine Forster has since published a very personal online statement defending her "compassionate and respectful" brother.
"It is nothing less than dishonesty for commentators and politicians who do not know Tony to label him 'homophobic' and 'misogynist' in order to score cheap political points," she said.
Tony Abbott's sister Christine Forster (picture, center) married long-time partner Virginia Flitcroft (left) in 2018 and is now defending her brother
Ms. Forster has since published a very personal statement (pictured) online defending her "compassionate and respectful" brother
"As a woman who was always part of his life and came to him as gay in my early 40s, I know indisputably that Tony is none of those things."
She married longtime partner Virginia Flitcroft in 2018.
Criticism of the appointment increased again this morning, however, when Shadow International Trade Secretary Emily Thornberry described "two factors that should immediately disqualify him".
She said: “Firstly, his history of offensive statements is so long and repetitive that it points to grave flaws in his character that I think should not represent Britain on the world stage.
"And second, the fact that he has no experience of detailed trade negotiations, no understanding of Brexit, no belief in climate change, no concern for workers' rights and no request to kill the Australian auto industry, in my opinion, means that the case is." He does not have credentials for this role.
& # 39; Tony Abbott is therefore the wrong date at every level, which begs the more important question of why Boris Johnson and Liz Truss gave him the job.
The former Australian Prime Minister has been described by Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon as a "misogynist, sexist and climate change denier" (Photo: Tony Abbott comes to a book launch in Sydney on Monday 25 November 2019).
"With this shambolic apology for a government, we may continue to be appalled and disappointed by their serial incompetence, but we should never be surprised any longer."
It comes when Mr Abbott posted a statement on Twitter about his new role saying he was "just too keen" to help the UK.
"A trade agreement between the UK and Australia to maximize the movement of goods, services and people is clearly in the best interests of our two countries," he said.
“It is important for the whole world that the UK make the most of its post-Brexit opportunities and I am proud to play a role.
& # 39; My government has trade deals between Australia and China, Japan and Korea. I look forward to bringing that expertise to bear as the UK works towards mutually beneficial improvements with its key trading partners. & # 39;
Bronwyn Bishop, Australia's longest-serving politician, also jumped to Abbott's defense, saying he was a victim of the "nefarious character assassination".
"To say he's a misogynist is just wrong," she said on Sky News Australia.
& # 39; He has a good record as a father of three girls and he has had chiefs of staff who were female.
“I've known Tony for over three decades and I've never seen him have any of those traits of misogyny.
"So it's a shameful assassination attempt on someone who tries to destroy someone by people who are clearly political opponents."
Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon described Abbott's remarks as "shameful" after describing him as a "misogynist, sexist and climate change denier".
Her defense comes after Mrs Sturgeon said that if she had anything to do with the hiring process, she would not have Mr Abbott as the UK's trade ambassador.
"The idea that anyone could take this view is deeply offensive and wrong," she told UK Sky News host Kay Burley.
“But even before these comments, Tony Abbott is a misogynist, he's a sexist, he's a climate change denier.
"In my opinion he is not the kind of person a trade ambassador or ambassador of sorts should be for the UK."
British opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer agreed with Ms. Sturgeon's comments, saying British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the wrong decision.
“I have real concerns about Tony Abbott and I don't think he's the right person for the job. If I were prime minister, I wouldn't appoint him. & # 39;
Rita Panahi, an Iranian-Australian opinion columnist, also came to Abbott's defense and called out the "defamatory" comments
"Absolutely despicable defamatory BS from a repeat offender," she tweeted, referring to British news presenter Ms. Burley.
Bronwyn Bishop (pictured), Australia's longest-serving politician, has jumped to Abbott's defense, claiming he has been the victim of a "nefarious assassination attempt on characters."
"To say he's a misogynist is just completely wrong," Ms. Bishop said of Tony Abbott (pictured) on Sky News Australia
Tony Abbott should consult a lawyer. These baseless insults, fueled by his insane left wing political opponents, are being called fact by "journalists" in Britain.
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock tried to defend Abbott's "shameful" remarks by insisting that "he was also a trade expert".
"We need experts in different fields and someone who is the former Australian Prime Minister is obviously a tremendous expert in the field of trade," he said.
Mr. Abbott was formally appointed on Friday UK time.
Senior coalition minister Mathias Cormann, who served under Abbott, said he had a remarkable record.
"From my place, Tony Abbott is clearly a giant in Australian politics who has been a long-time contributor," Senator Cormann told Sky News on Friday.
"Not everyone will agree, but people have a right to their views, and that's how things work in a democracy."
Abbott previously said he felt "a bit threatened" by homosexuality and was opposed to same-sex marriage.
He was also accused of misogyny before the Australian Parliament by then Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Ms. Gillard referred to his comments on the price of electricity as an opposition leader in 2010.
"What housewives in Australia need to understand when they iron is that if they do it commercially the price will go up and their own utility bills will go up if they turn on the iron," he said.
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) News (t) Scott Morrison (t) Climate Change and Global Warming (t) Nicola Sturgeon (t) Tony Abbott