Australian Education Minister Christopher Pyne has caused controversy after appearing to call Opposition leader Bill Shorten a "c**t" in parliament, according to video footage.

On the clip, Pyne was heard to say: "You're such a c**t" - Although Pyne has claimed he used the word "grub" instead of the offensive slur.

The alleged comment was not picked up by opposition members, staff or journalists watching at the time but a video posted on Ninemsn on Thursday morning.

The education minister began his attack on Shorten when he launched a Dorothy Dixer - a rehearsed or planted question - about how the government is delivering better outcomes for school pupils. Pyne was not told to leave Parliament, but Bronwyn Bishop, the speaker of the house, asked him to keep his titles accurate.

Although Pyne has denied using the c-word, this is not the first time politicians have been caught behaving badly.


A fist-fight broke out in the Ukraine parliament in April, with rivals from the far-right nationalist party and communists exchanging punches. Vitali Klitschko, leader of the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform and a Member of the Ukrainian Parliament, had delivered a speech at the Kiev parliament saying the country had risked a "real war" after recent upheaval in eastern Ukraine.

Shortly afterwards, Petro Symonenko, head of the Communist Party, accused lawmakers of provoking the current unrest by implementing the downfall of the Viktor Yanukovych's government. Radical nationalists stormed the podium and as Symonenko supporters came to his defence, a fight broke out.

South Korea

In December 2010, South Korea's politicians erupted into a large brawl as the government pushed through the 2011 budget. Several opposition politicians and their aides fought with members of the ruling Grand National Party (GNP), which resulted in one GNP member being taken to hospital after being hit on the head with a gavel.


Television pictures clearly showed John Prescott lashing out after being hit in the face by a flying egg when he arrived at a theatre in Rhyl, north Wales, to address a party rally in 2001. The then-deputy prime minister fell back over a wall while in a scuffle with a protester, before being led to safety by police.

Czech Republic

In May 2006, Miroslav Macek, the Czech Republic's Former Deputy Prime Minister broke off addressing a meeting of dentists to deliver a hard slap to the back of Health Minister David Rath's head. Macek accused him of having insulted his wife (after Rath had previously publicly stated that Macek had married his wife for money).


In August 2013, Taiwanese lawmakers exchanged punches and threw water at each other ahead of a vote that would authorise a referendum on whether to finish a fourth nuclear power plant. Nuclear power has historically been a contentious issue in Taiwan, which has become exacerbated following the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011.