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It Appears Julie Bishop Really Did Call Tanya Plibersek A "Bitch"

Well then.

Australia's foreign minister, Julie Bishop, has been accused of sledging her opposite number, Tanya Plibersek, allegedly calling her a "bitch" during this week's Question Time. But did she really?

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The footage from Tuesday's sitting, which we've slowed down, appears to show Bishop behind Tony Abbott's right shoulder muttering something in the direction of Tanya Plibersek.

Here it is again...on loop.


So what was happening at the time? The opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman, Tanya Plibersek, asked a question about humanitarian aid to Syria. As Hansard shows, during Abbott's answer, Plibersek repeatedly yelled...

Then as Abbott finished his answer Bishop allegedly said "bitch" here...

Labor MP (and self-described "bad boy of parliament") Nick Champion told BuzzFeed News she said it.

AAP Images

"Oh come on," he said. "Well, what do you think the foreign minister is saying about Tanya Plibersek?"

Champion regularly gets kicked out of parliament for brandishing props and throwing sledges from the backbench.

"I'm the parliamentary bad boy," he said, "and I guess I can call into question whether it's parliamentary language or not."

It's not the first time (and won't be the last) salty language has been caught on camera in Australian politics. Last year the education minister Christopher Pyne was accused of calling the Labor leader "a cunt".

View this video on YouTube


When BuzzFeed News showed the footage to Plibersek, she laughed.

"I'm sure I've been called worse," she said.

BuzzFeed News has also contacted Bishop's office for comment.

As we wait for a response...we need your help.

  1. Did Julie Bishop call Tanya Plibersek a "bitch"?

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Did Julie Bishop call Tanya Plibersek a "bitch"?
    vote votes
    Yeah, she totally did!
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    Nah, it was more like *smdh* "pitch!"
    vote votes
    I think it was "witch".
    vote votes
    Mmmm, I think it was a frustrated "bssssssh".
    vote votes
    It was something different – I'll tell you in the comments.

Mark Di Stefano is a media and politics correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Mark Di Stefano at mark.distefano@buzzfeed.com.

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