An online petition calling for Alan Jones to resign from public media is continuing to attract thousands of signatures, despite the 2GB host issuing an apology to Prime Minister Julia Gillard over comments he made about her late father John Gillard.
By early Sunday afternoon the Change.org petition listed more than 5,000 supporters, having been online for around 16 hours. It calls for Jones’ employer 2GB to terminate his contract should the radio megaphone fail to resign.
Jones told a press conference today that he did not know he was on record when he told the Sydney University Liberal Club dinner last weekend that Mr Gillard had “died of shame”.
“To think that he had a daughter who told lies every time she stood for parliament,” he was recorded as saying.
While Jones said today that the comments were made “off the cuff”, he said that they were “unacceptable” and “merit an apology by me”.
“Can I just say there are days when you just have to concede and man up and say you got it wrong,” he said.
“I’m simply, through you, apologising for those statements being made”.
He also used the press conference to declare he has no problem with women.
“Women make a phenomenal contribution to this country, they are tough and they do the yards but these people aren’t,” he said.
“I don’t dislike the prime minister, I dislike her policies.”
The comments were recorded at a charity auction, where one of the items on sale for the evening was a “chaff bag jacket, signed by Alan Jones”.
Jones said he did not believe advertisers would be pulling their support for his show and that he had not considered resigning over the comments.