Peter Dutton has revealed he’s bald because of a medical condition after a Labor frontbencher was slammed for likening him to the Harry Potter villain ‘Voldemort’ in a brutal insult.
The incoming Liberal Party leader on Thursday said he had accepted an apology from Tanya Plibersek, after she made fun of his appearance on Queensland’s Radio 4BC on Wednesday.
Mr Dutton said: ‘I’m not bald by choice, I was diagnosed with a skin condition a couple of years ago, it’s all just the reality of getting older.
‘You read that sort of stuff online and it’s sort of the sewer of Twitter… I just don’t think you need to be nasty and mean.
‘I’m not the prettiest bloke on the block but I’m hopeful I’ll be pretty effective.’
Taking the controversy in his stride, Mr Dutton added his two teenage sons also regularly tease him about his bald head.
He said he reminds them ‘that I had more hair than they did at 16 and 17′ and that they may also have the same gene.
Peter Dutton has revealed he’s bald because of a medical condition after a Labor frontbencher was slammed for likening him to the Harry Potter villain ‘Voldemort’ in a brutal insult
Peter Dutton (pictured), who is expected to be the next leader of the Liberal Party, has been compared to Harry Potter’s archenemy Voldemort, by senior Labor MP Tanya Plibersek
Outspoken radio host Ray Hadley blasted the woman expected to become Australia’s next Education Minister, arguing that if a male politician made similar remarks mocking a female MP’s looks it would end their career.
‘Just imagine this, if a male politician had made reference to a female politician and her looks. It would have been resignation time,’ he said on 2GB radio.
‘So let’s apply the same rule to you Tanya that would apply to any man making an unkind and unnecessary comment about the appearance of a woman.
‘Start thinking about that before you make another comment.’
In jawdropping comments in the wake of Labor’s historic election win, Ms Plibersek said a lot of children who have watched the films will be very ‘frightened’ of the former Defence Minister when they see him on TV.
‘I am saying he looks a bit like Voldemort and we will see whether he can do what he promised he would do when he was last running for leader, which is smile more,’ Ms Plibersek told 4BC radio.
Ms Plibersek with her boss, now-Prime Minister Anthony Albanese
Tanya Plibersek did the right thing by apologising. She apologised. It was a mistake. It shouldn’t have been said, we all make mistakes from time to time. What we need to do is to move on from them and it is how we respond to them. Tanya Plibersek responded appropriately – Anthony Albanese
Hadley said the comments were probably made out ‘over confidence or exuberance’ after winning office.
‘It’s a lot easier to be in opposition than it is to be in government, as Tanya found that out yesterday,’ he said.
‘When you are in opposition, you may have gotten away with comments like that in the past but now you’re in government, likely to be a frontbencher, you can’t get away with that sort of stuff.’
He added that it’s a dangerous precedent to make people’s appearance the benchmark in which we discuss politics.
‘There are some very ordinary heads on your side of parliament as well,’ she said.
‘It really tells you a bit about Tanya and where she sits. I’m greatly disappointed in that comment.’
However, Anthony Albanese defended Ms Plibersek over the comments, arguing that Scott Morrison teased him about his appearance in the past.
Sunrise host Natalie Barr on Thursday grilled the new Prime Minister about the brutal insult made against Peter Dutton, pointing out there would be ‘hell to pay’ if a man mocked a female MP’s looks.
The morning show asked Mr Albanese about whether he plans to ‘pull her into line’ over the comments, before he responded: ‘she has already apologised’.
‘There are a few comments made by the former Prime Minister about my appearance you might recall as part of the election campaign. We should not refer to people’s appearance, let’s discuss policy differences,’ he said.
Anthony Albanese (right) has defended Tanya Plibersek on Sunrise (Natalie Barr left beside David Koch) after she likened the incoming Opposition Leader to the bald-headed Harry Potter villain ‘Voldemort’, arguing that Scott Morrison also teased him about his appearance in the past
Mr Albanese reiterated he’s ‘dead serious’ about changing the way politics operates in this country but also understands that ‘people make mistakes’.
‘When they make a mistake they should apologise and we move on,’ he said.
‘That’s one of the ways that we can change the way that politics operates and Tanya has done the appropriate thing here.
‘Tanya Plibersek did the right thing by apologising. She apologised. It was a mistake. It shouldn’t have been said, we all make mistakes from time to time.
‘What we need to do is to move on from them and it is how we respond to them. Tanya Plibersek responded appropriately.’
Speaking to the ABC during his morning TV blitz, Mr Albanese detailed the remarks the former PM made about him in the lead up to the election.
‘Scott Morrison had a whole show that seemed to be devoted into an analysis of my glasses or whether I lost weight or what I look like. We can do better than that,’ he said.
He also surprised TV hosts by saying he has a good personal relationship with Peter Dutton.
‘He has never broken a confidence or his word to me. That is a good place to start,’ Mr Albanese said.
‘I certainly have an improved relationship with the future leader of the Liberal Party, I think. If that occurs. I wish him well. I want to work across the parliament, wherever possible.’