Labor MP Sam Rae denies making cruel comment to Liberal Angie Bell

Labor backbencher Sam Rae has denied directing a cruel comment at Liberal MP Angie Bell during this week’s session of parliament.

Rae denied yelling “at least I have my own children” at the gay Liberal MP during her speech about childcare in parliament on Monday.

Addressing the parliament Rae said it was “absolutely not correct” that he had made the comment across the chamber while Bell was arguing that the cost of childcare had increased since the Labor government came to power.

“The comments that have been attributed by some to me were not made by me, and would never be made by me,” Rae said in parliament on Monday, denying his interjection personally targeted Bell.

“I accept that interjections are always disorderly and apologise to the member for being disruptive during her speech. My comments made absolutely no reference to the member herself.”

Deputy Opposition leader Sussan Ley said it was another example of Labor members creating an unsafe workplace.

“Parliament is a workplace, and it is never acceptable in any workplace to use a woman’s personal circumstances to de-legitimise her contributions, this is a really disgusting development,” Ley said. “When the Prime Minister promised a kinder, more respectful parliament, is this what he meant?”

Bell, whose long-term partner has adult children, said the alleged comment was “a slur on my family, and I think it should be outlined that it was unacceptable”.

The complaint is one of a number of recent incidents where the opposition has accused government members of making inappropriate comments. Last week Liberal MP Sarah Henderson was in tears when she accused Labor’s Murray Watt of “saying disgraceful things”.

OIP Staff

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