A senior political leader in Prime Minister John Howard's Liberal Party was under pressure to quit Monday over a racial slur directed at the Malaysian-born wife of a former political rival.
John Brogden, leader of the Liberal Party in New South Wales state, apologized for recently calling Helena Carr, wife of the state's former leader Bob Carr, a "mail-order bride." Carr, who retired last month, demanded Brogden's ouster.
"I just think this guy's got to be evacuated from the Liberal Party leadership by close of business today," Carr told the Southern Cross Broadcasting network. "I think that his apology is entirely unacceptable to Helena and that is the greatest insult not only to her but of every woman of Asian background."
Howard immediately condemned the comments.
"That sort of comment is just quite wrong," he told television's Nine Network. "I know Helena Carr and she's a very gracious person. That sort of comment should never have been made."
At a news conference, Carr said Brogden's comment, reportedly made after drinking at a conference for hotel owners in Sydney, insulted all Asian immigrants, not just his wife.
"Every Asian family in Australia has been diminished by John Brogden's racism and it's only taken three bottles of beer for what he thinks about Asian background people to come to the surface," he said.
"These comments are, as Helena reminded me, the only time in all the years since she came here as a student in 1965 that any Australian has made a racist comment," he added. "That says something good about Australia but something very bad about this guy.", AP reported.