Dutton apologises for disability comment
AFTER two days of pressure Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has apologised for saying his opponent was using her disability as an "excuse" for not moving into the electorate.
Mr Dutton had initially refused to back down from his controversial comments.
"I apologise to Ms France for my comments yesterday. My argument with the Labor candidate is about how our respective policies would affect the people of Dickson," Mr Dutton posted to social media site Twitter.
Mr Dutton told The Australian newspaper that constituents told him they were, "quite angry that Ms France is using her disability as an excuse for not moving into our electorate".
In the face of criticism, including from disability advocates, he initially doubled down.
A spokesman said he was "repeating the views and concerns … raised with him by constituents".
The story threatened to continue into a third day, as Labor leader Mr Shorten pressured Scott Morrison to make his Minister apologise.
"Peter Dutton was in three votes shy of becoming the Prime Minister of Australia. I think Mr Morrison is acutely aware of that. I can only conclude he is a hostage of Peter Dutton, which is why he hasn't told him to apologise," Mr Shorten said this morning.
After Mr Dutton's apology, a spokesman from the Prime Minister's office said they did not intervene or ask Mr Dutton to issue the statement.