Federal Opposition leader Tony Abbott has come under fire, over comments he made about the Costa Concordia tragedy, during an interview on radio station Triple M in Adelaide this morning.
Mr Abbott was being interviewed over his visit to Adelaide to ride in the Tour Down Under Bupa Challenge.
During the interview, announcer Dale Lewis asked: "This is just a bit from left field, the captain from the Costa Concordia wants to know if you need any help with your boat policy?"
"Well that was one boat that did get stopped, wasn't it," Mr Abbott replied, laughing.
Later today, Mr Abbott dismissed claims he was making jokes about the shipping disaster, that's claimed the lives of at least 11 people.
"Look, it was banter that I didn't start," Mr Abbott said.
"Yes, I participated in it,"
"On reflection, probably it's not a subject that should be bantered about on morning radio, even on morning radio, but the Labor Party really should develop a bit of perspective about these things."
"I think the Labor party really needs to appreciate that banter is banter."
"I was asked a light-hearted question, I gave a light-hearted response."
Some Labor MPs had earlier called for Mr Abbott to apologise, Federal MP Rob Mitchell had posted criticism of the Opposition Leader on social networking site Twitter.
"Audio of Abbott's disgusting comments on #costaconcordia disaster. He must come out and apologise."
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