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Video: Australia's opposition leader 'regrets' remarks about prime minister’s bottom

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Prime Minister Julia Gillard and opposition leader Tony Abbott

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and opposition leader Tony Abbott

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and opposition leader Tony Abbott

<p>AUSTRALIA&rsquo;S opposition leader Tony Abbott back-pedalled after endorsing derogatory comments about the appearance of Julia Gillard, the country's female prime minister.</p>

The furore began when well-known Australian feminist Germaine Greer told ABC television that Gillard wore unflattering jackets and had a "big a-se".



"Every time she turns round, you've got that strange horizontal crease, which means they're cut too narrow in the hips," Greer said.



"You've got a big a-se, Julia. Just get on with it."



While meeting the public at a community forum on Thursday the issue came up and Mr Abbott responded: "I know, I know, I know. Germaine Greer was right on that subject."



On Friday he said he regretted the remark after it was widely played on television.



"It was an off-the-cuff remark responding to an observation of a member of the public and I shouldn't have said it and I regret it," he said.



Miss Gillard is Australia's first female leader and her boyfriend Tim Mathieson has previously hit out at people "bullying" her.



"Being a woman, I think she's gets targeted quite a bit by the big boys in town," he said at the time.



"Bullying women just doesn't work for me ... calling females names does not get you anywhere," he added.