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Morrison Slams Alan Jones As Being 'Way Out Of Line' For Sock Comment

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has joined a growing chorus of calls against radio host Alan Jones for his comments that Morrison should "shove a sock down the throat" of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Speaking to The Guardian from the Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvalu on Thursday, Morrison said the comments were "way out of line" and "very disappointing".

"The comment has been relayed to me; on what's been reported to me, I find that very disappointing and of course that's way out of line," he said.

"I have two daughters, so you can expect that's how I would feel personally about it. I'll leave others to explain what they've said and how they've said it."

Morrison and Ardern are in Tuvalu -- a low-lying island nation -- where the issue of climate change is key.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrives for the Pacific Islands Forum in Funafuti, Tuvalu, Wednesday, August 14, 2019. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas) NO ARCHIVING
Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrives for the Pacific Islands Forum in Funafuti, Tuvalu, Wednesday, August 14, 2019. Photo: AAP.

Jones said Ardern was a "joke" for her views on climate change, claiming -- somewhat misleadingly -- that New Zealand's carbon dioxide had increased more per capita than Australia's since 1990. Ardern had criticised Australia by saying that it "has to answer to the Pacific" on climate change while adding that New Zealand would "do our bit".

"Here she is preaching on global warming and saying that we've got to do something about climate change," Jones said on his 2GB radio show.

“I just wonder whether Scott Morrison is going to be fully briefed to shove a sock down her throat.”

The veteran radio host added that Ardern was "a complete clown".

READ MORE: Alan Jones Slammed For 'Shove A Sock Down Her Throat' Comments About Jacinda Ardern

Veteran radio host Alan Jones. Photo: AAP.

Morrison joins Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama and former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in condemning Jones' comments.

"Easy to tell someone to shove a sock down a throat when you're sitting in the comfort of a studio," Bainimarama said on Twitter.

"The people of the Pacific, forced to abandon their homes due to climate change, don't have that luxury. Try saying it to a Tuvaluan child pleading for help."

Turnbull applauded Bainimarama's comment, describing Jones' tirade as a "misogynistic rant" and calling on the radio host to apologise to Ardern.

"When I announced Australia's Pacific Step Up in 2016 climate action was a key priority," Turnbull said.

"It may be political to some, but it's existential in the Pacific."

READ MORE: Scott Morrison Prepares For Tough Climate Talks With Pacific Leaders

When asked about Jones' comments on Thursday, Ardern said: "I don't think I'm going to give that the light of day. I think I'll just leave it where it is."

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern meets with Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison for a bilateral meeting during the Pacific Islands Forum in Funafuti, Tuvalu, Wednesday, August 14, 2019. Photo: AAP.

Following widespread criticism of Jones' comments, 2GB released a statement on behalf of the radio host claiming his comments had been subject to "willful misinterpretation".

"Of course what I meant to say was that Scott Morrison should tell Ms Ardern to 'put a sock in it'," Jones said.

"There are many people who would relish the opportunity to misinterpret thing that I have said as we have seen online this afternoon. Of course, I would not wish any harm to Jacinda Ardern.

READ MORE: 'We All Make Mistakes': Alan Jones Apologises On Air For Using N-Word

"This willful misinterpretation distracts from my point that she was wrong about climate change and wrong about Australia's contribution to carbon dioxide levels."

Jones -- who has previously claimed former Prime Minister Julia Gillard should be "shoved in a chaff bag" and thrown out to see, as well as claiming her father "died of shame" -- did not apologise to Ardern.

Contact the author: abrucesmith@networkten.com.au