Misogyny in government is 'untrue', Howard

In an exclusive tell-all interview on Seven's Sunday Night, Mr Howard slammed Julia Gillard for "playing the misogyny card".

Ms Gillard's famous speech against sexism in Parliament drew a scathing review from Mr Howard.

"I thought it was nonsense. It was untrue," he said.

"The idea that Tony Abbott is anti-women is ridiculous, just quite, quite wrong."

In his first major interview since his unseating seven years ago, the 75-year-old said no political leader was ever entitled to office and he thought Gillard had acted so.

"Nobody has an entitlement to anything in public life, it’s a myth."

Former prime minister Julia Gillard made the impassioned speech against then opposition leader Tony Abbott's motion to remove Peter Slipper as Speaker in October 2012, accusing him of being a misogynist and a hypocrite.

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" I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. I will not. And the Government will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. Not now, not ever," Ms Gillard said in her speech.

Mr Howard said the speech was detrimental to gender equality in parliament.

"I don’t think it resonated," Mr Howard said.

"I think it is the worst possible way of promoting a greater involvement by women in public life — and to play the misogyny card — so many women of ability I know in the community pour scorn on that."

He said Julia Gillard's downfall was in having "no authority" when she seized control of the Labor party because she never won an election in her own right.

"Removing a first term prime minister, and then not to win the subsequent election, meant she never had authority and the most important thing that a prime minister has is not popularity but authority."

"As prime minister … she had no authority, that was her trouble."