Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has called on Senator Leyonhjelm to resign. Picture: AAP
Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has called on Senator Leyonhjelm to resign. Picture: AAP

Hanson-Young calls for Leyonhjelm to quit

GREENS senator Sarah Hanson-Young has called on David Leyonhjelm to resign over his "reprehensible" comments about her private life as she weighs up taking legal action.

In federal parliament last week, Senator Leyonhjelm told his female counterpart to "stop shagging men" and on Sunday repeated the gist of his remarks during a Sky News broadcast on Sunday.

Sky later apologised for broadcasting and strap-lining what it described as his "appalling" remarks. It also suspended a producer.

Now Senator Hanson-Young says Senator Leyonhjelm should do the decent thing and resign.

"I believe he has proven himself incapable of showing respect and is unfit to represent not only women, but all decent Australians, in our nation's parliament," Senator Hanson-Young said in a statement on Monday.

The Greens senator says she is considering legal action over Senator Leyonhjelm's comments on Sky and Melbourne radio station 3AW, both aired on Sunday.

 

"I will not be intimidated or bullied by offensive and sexist slurs on my professional reputation," Senator Hanson-Young said.

On Thursday, Senator Leyonhjelm told Senator Hanson-Young she should "stop shagging men" in the upper house during a motion about women's safety.

When she confronted him about the comment, he told her to "f*** off".

Senator David Leyonhjelm in the Senate Question Time in the Senate Chamber, Parliament House in Canberra. Picture Kym Smith
Senator David Leyonhjelm in the Senate Question Time in the Senate Chamber, Parliament House in Canberra. Picture Kym Smith

Deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop said Senator Leyonhjelm should apologise.

"The comments were highly disrespectful and we need more respect in public life, not less," Ms Bishop told reporters in Melbourne on Monday.

Her cabinet colleague Simon Birmingham also called on Senator Leyonhjelm to publicly apologise.

"I would expect that apologies would be the appropriate order of the day. Frankly, people ought to be a little bigger and better than that," Senator Birmingham told Sky News.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott joined the calls for the Liberal Democrats senator to say sorry for doubling down on his original attack.

"Leyonhjelm goes on Sky on the weekend in a very smug and self-righteous way and repeats the damn thing. People should be better than that," Mr Abbott told 2GB.

Senate president Scott Ryan asked Senator Leyonhjelm to apologise but he refused.

Senator Leyonhjelm said last week if the Greens senator took offence, it was an issue for her.

"I am prepared to rephrase my comments. I strongly urge Senator Hanson-Young to continue shagging men as she pleases," Senator Leyonhjelm said on Thursday.