Federal ministers want Sydney radio shock jock Alan Jones sacked for saying Julia Gillard's 83-year-old father died of shame over his daughter's "lies".
The broadcaster, who has a long association with the Liberal Party, publicly apologised yesterday, saying his comments were "unacceptable".
The comments, made to a Sydney University Liberal Club function nine days ago, have been widely condemned by Government and Opposition MPs.
Cabinet minister Greg Combet said Jones was a "voice of hate and vilification" and joined Treasurer Wayne Swan and Trade Minister Craig Emerson in demanding his employer 2GB sack him from his $4 million-a-year job.
Liberal frontbencher Malcolm Turnbull said Jones' comments were "cruel and offensive". WA Liberal MP Ken Wyatt called them "insensitive and appalling" and Kevin Rudd said they were the "lowest of the low".
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said the remarks were out of line. "It's good he's recognised this and apologised for them," he said.
A News Limited reporter who paid $100 to attend the function taped Jones' speech.
"Every person in the caucus of the Labor Party knows that Julia Gillard's a liar," Jones told the crowd.
"The old man died a few weeks ago of shame. To think that he had a daughter who told lies every time she stood for Parliament."
At a rambling 45-minute press conference yesterday, Jones said he was "naive" to repeat comments he heard at a party for his godson.
Jones said he wanted to apologise to the PM, but her office said she would not take his call. He also admitted that at the event he had bought a jacket made from a chaff bag, in reference to his comment last year about wanting Ms Gillard stuffed into a chaff bag and taken out to sea.He also denied being sexist when he said on air in August that "women are destroying the joint".