Abbott comments 'misinterpreted'

ONE of the co-founders of the Aboriginal tent embassy in Canberra has admitted that he had not heard comments made by opposition leader Tony Abbott until after a fiery clash between demonstrators and police that resulted in Prime Minister Julia Gillard being dragged to safety yesterday.

Michael Anderson today said "we now have a copy of what he [Mr Abbott] actually said" and agreed that the Opposition Leader's comments had been misinterpreted by the group who surrounded the Lobby Restaurant several hundred metres from Parliament House in Canberra.

"When I looked at the Tony Abbott thing, of course when he said 'It's time to move on', yeah people misinterpreted that and unfortunately it provoked an incident," Mr Anderson told radio station 3AW today.

"When he says we've got to move on .... well that's like holding a red rag out to a bull to people who are highly emotionally charged."

The Opposition Leader today stood by his comments, insisting he never said the tent embassy in Canberra should be removed. "I never said that and I don't think that,'' he told reporters in Melbourne.

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