Current Affairs

Australian ambassador to France offered to resign after ignoring rule on same-sex partner

Naith Payton May 5, 2015
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Stephen Brady was asked not to bring his partner to meet Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Anzac Day.

According to Australian government officials, it is only permitted for ambassadors to bring their partners when the prime minister has their partner with them as well.

Tony Abbott was not travelling with his wife, and therefore they say Mr Brady should not have brought his long-term partner Peter Stephens with him when he met Mr Abbott at Le Bourget airport in Paris. It is a small, private airport and the meeting was not a ceremonial engagement.

Mr Abbott’s travelling party apparently sent word that Mr Stephens should wait in the car, but this request was ignored.

Mr Brady reportedly offered his resignation immediately after the incident, but it was denied.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister did not deny that the incident had happened, but said: “The prime minister was very happy to be met by Ambassador Brady and his partner when he arrived in Paris last month.”

Anzac Day is a day of remembrance for Australian and New Zealand soldiers who fought during the First World War.

Assistant Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, told ABC: “As I understand it the Prime Minister was very happy to meet the both of them. In fact the prime minister knows Stephen Brady very well, no doubt he has met his partner Peter before.”

Mr Abbott faced a leadership challenge in February.

Related topics: ambassador, Australia, France, Tony Abbott

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