Former Liberal MP Fiona Scott, who was once inappropriately publicly praised for her “sex appeal” by Tony Abbott, says it’s time for the former Prime Minister to call it quits.
In 2013, Mr Abbott was under fire for the “sexygate” scandal when Ms Scott was standing as the western Sydney candidate.
Speaking on Paul Murray LIVE on Sky News on Wednesday night, the former MP said it was time for the backbencher to quit for a more stable Liberal party.
“I think some of the guys need to clock off, and I include Tony Abbott in that. I think it’s time he goes,” she said.
Despite fully supporting Mr Abbott in 2013, the politician says she was pigeon-holed from the sexist comments and had difficulty being included in the political boys’ club.
“I’m not saying I’m blaming Tony Abbott for that – I am saying [being pigeon-holed] is a consequence of it.”
In an article for The Australian Financial Review, Ms Scott - who lost her seat in Lindsay last year - told journalist Aaron Patrick that the she missed out on opportunities in her career.
"It was a catalyst for pigeon-holing me. It hurt me with the boys in the boys' club. They thought: 'You're just a girl with sex appeal', " she said.
Ms Scott said she was initially excluded from House of Representatives economics committee despite having the qualifications and experience for it.
Scott Buchholz, the Coalition whip, wouldn't include her as a new Liberal Party backbencher because it was for the "big boys" who had PhDs and masters in economics.
“He turned around the looked at me strange, and said ‘economics?’, and I went, yeah economics, and he said really? and I said, yes, and he said, that’s for the big boys,” she said.
On the campaign trail ahead of the 2013 general election, Tony Abbott said two women in his team had "a bit of sex appeal” and were "young" and feisty".