Fresh claims Gillard sexist menu was handed out
THERE are fresh claims that the sexist menu targeting Julia Gillard at a Mal Brough fundraiser was handed out to guests.
A post, which is doing the rounds on Twitter, claims the menu was distributed and that the restaurant owner had taken the fall for Mr Brough.
Mr Brough has emphatically denied the claims, referring to restaurant owner Joe Richards' statement that the menu was a private joke between him and his son.
"I work at the Brisbane restaurant in question and let me assure everyone that the menu was indeed made public,'' a blog on the Hoopla site from Sascha Taylor said.
"How lovely of the owner to fall on his sword like that,'' the comment says.
It goes on to say she had given her notice on Thursday morning in disgust.
APN was unable to reach Mr Richards or the restaurant on Thursday night to verify Ms Taylor worked at the restaurant.
An ABC correspondent tweeted he had spoken to Mr Richards who said that no staff member had quit and that he had never heard of Sascha Taylor.
Chef shared Gillard menu on Twitter due to offensive nature
The man who brought the menu containing a vile description of Julia Gillard to the public's attention says he has sympathy for Mal Brough.
Chef David Carter admitted on Thursday he was not at the fundraiser and had no proof the menu, describing a dish as "Julia Gillard Kentucky Fried Quail", had been distributed at the March 28 function held at Richards & Richards.
Mr Carter, whose employment at the Brisbane restaurant was terminated in October, said he had not spoken with any former co-workers since the event.
He told Sky News he saw a picture of the menu posted on a former co-worker's Facebook page and decided to share it on Twitter because of its offensive nature.
"I had no idea it was going to go this viral and have this kind of an impact. Of course he (Mr Brough) has my full sympathy," Mr Carter said.
Mr Carter first posted the contents of the menu on Twitter three days after the fundraiser, sending tweets to politicians and journalists.
He denied being a member of the Labor Party, but admitted to posting offensive tweets about Opposition Leader Tony Abbott in the past.
"I'm not in favour of him. I don't particularly like the guy," he said of Mr Abbott.
Like Ms Gillard and other Labor figures, Mr Carter said he was not convinced the menu had simply been an "in-house joke".
He claimed Richards & Richards owner Joe Richards had created similar documents in the past.
"I've been to Labor Party functions ... there before and Joe's always very quick to put a gag and joke in at those functions, and he's always very quick to be the first one to point it out to everyone and hand it around," he said.
"It seems a bit convenient that all of a sudden they (the LNP) have a scapegoat and then all of a sudden no one saw it."
Gillard gives Brough dressing down over crass menu 'joke'
PRIME Minister Julia Gillard says Mal Brough still has "dozens" of questions to answer about an offensive menu produced as a joke for a campaign fundraiser.
Early on Wednesday Mr Brough apologised for the menu, which contained crass comments about Ms Gillard, although he could not remember having seen the document.
But on Wednesday night, Joe Richards, the owner of the restaurant where the function was held, released a statement via Tony Abbott's office claiming he had produced the menu as a joke but had not distributed it at the event.
After the menu was made public on Twitter by David Carter, a former chef at the restaurant, Ms Gillard and other senior Labor figures called on the Liberal National Party to disendorse Mr Brough.
The Prime Minister said on Thursday Mr Richards' intervention had done nothing to change her mind.
"I stand by, absolutely, everything I said yesterday, and it seems to me that there are dozens and dozens and dozens of questions for Mal Brough to still answer," Ms Gillard told reporters in Perth.
"Yesterday, Mal Brough said he had seen this menu. Today we're hearing quite a different version.
"Well it's for Mal Brough to answer every question about that."
Treasurer Wayne Swan and Finance Minister Penny Wong were among a host of Labor heavy hitters attempting to cast doubt on the latest developments.
But Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said the matter had been cleared up and it was time to "move on".
"The important thing is to get the facts right and this was a bad taste menu that never made it out of the kitchen," Mr Abbott said.
"It wasn't seen by anyone at the event. It was never distributed to people at the event. It was a tacky joke that never made it outside of the kitchen."
Asked why Mr Brough had initially apologised for the menu, Mr Abbott said the LNP candidate for Fisher he had not been aware of all the facts.
He also called on both sides of politics to "lift our game" when it comes to insults and bad behaviour.
"I think we should all be bigger than this kind of thing," he said.
He also defended Mr Richards' statement being distribute by his office.
"The restaurant owner, funnily enough, doesn't actually have a media staff and the email from the restaurant owner went to Joe Hockey, it went to Mal Brough, it went to my office and it's perfectly appropriate that my office should distribute it to people who need the facts and I think it's very important that the media should report the facts," he said.
Mal Brough denies restaurant owner took fall to protect him
MAL Brough has hit back at suggestions of a Menugate cover-up, saying he had nothing to do with the sexist remarks levelled at Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Mr Brough, who is standing for the Liberal National Party in the Sunshine Coast seat of Fisher, yesterday came under fire for a sexist menu which purported to be from one of his fundraisers.
The menu offered "Julia Gillard Kentucky Fried Quail" which was described as "small breasts, large thighs and a big red box".
The owner of Brisbane's Richards & Richards restaurant, Joe Richards, last night admitted he was responsible for the menu.
He said it was never presented to diners at the fundraiser and was meant to be an in-house joke between him and his sons.
Speaking to the media outside his electorate office at Kawana this morning Mr Brough denied Mr Richards, an LNP donor and personal friend, was pressured into making the admission.
"If you're suggesting or if the Labor Party is suggesting for a moment that anybody has put Mr Richards up to fabricating this story, then that is a pretty serious allegation," he said.
"It did not happen. He will answer for himself and I assure you his statement is his statement alone."
Meanwhile, Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer has taken aim at Mr Brough on Twitter.
"Always a fall guy for Mal Brough - first Ashby now this restaurant owner. Why is Brough so desperate to get back into parliament?" Mr Palmer tweeted.
Mal Brough addressing media after outrage over "joke" menu
MAL Brough is addressing the media after apparently being cleared of wrongdoing in the "Menugate" incident.
The LNP candidate for Fisher sent out a media call to a press conference this morning and posted the fact on his Facebook page.
Followers on the Facebook page have backed Mr Brough, who yesterday found himself at the centre of a controversy over a sexually inappropriate menu, believed to have been used at an LNP fundraising dinner.
Since then the owner of the restaurant where the function was held has claimed responsibility for the "joke" menu, which he said had not been viewed by attendees.
Julie Martin posted a simple message on Mr Brough's Facebook page: "Sock it to 'em Mal!".
Others have claimed Mr Brough was set up in the affair.
Restaurant owner says tacky menu 'joke' was his, not Mal's
SUNSHINE Coast LNP candidate Mal Brough has been cleared of wrongdoing in the menu-gate scandal after a restaurant owner late last night admitted to making a crass joke at the expense of Prime Minster Julia Gillard.
A political firestorm erupted yesterday after pictures of a menu from a Brough fundraiser which made sexist jokes at the expense of Ms Gillard surfaced on the internet.
The menu offered diners "Julia Gillard Kentucky Fried Quail" which was described as "small breasts, large thighs and a big red box".
Mr Brough, who is contesting the seat of Fisher at the federal election, was pilloried for the menu and his political rivals called for him to be disendorsed.
He denied any knowledge of the menu and said it had not been approved by any member of his staff.
However, the former Howard-era minister was vindicated last night when the owner of Brisbane restaurant Richards and Richards, Joe Richards, emailed Mr Brough owning up to the joke.
"I have been following the rubbish that has been on the news today," the email, which was released to the media, said.
"I would like to confirm what actually happened: there were never any menus distributed on the tables or in the restaurant.
"I created a mock menu myself as a light-hearted joke.
"However, as I said, I never produced them for public distribution.
"Unfortunately, a staff member saw the mock menu and unbeknownst to myself, posted it on their Facebook.
"It now appears that a third party, for political reasons, has distributed it, yet I can reassure you that no such menu was distributed on the night.
"As you know, no one at the dinner was privy to such a menu and it is so unfortunate that an in-house joke between myself and my son has caused you great problems and embarrassment."
The Daily attempted to contact Mr Brough for comment last night.
He did not return calls.
Earlier yesterday, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott condemned the menu, but stood by Mr Brough. He ruled out any chance of Mr Brough being disendorsed.
The row erupted less than 24 hours after Ms Gillard reignited the gender debate, claiming a Coalition government would use the issue of abortion as a "political plaything".
She condemned the menu and called for Mr Brough to have his preselection withdrawn.
Cabinet ministers Craig Emerson and Tanya Plibersek and former prime minister Kevin Rudd joined in shortly afterwards.
The incident comes after Mr Brough's involvement in James Ashby's suit of current Fisher MP Peter Slipper.