Shoe thrower says ex-Oz PM Howard deserved ‘a lot worse’for Iraq War involvement

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

SYDNEY - A man who threw a shoe at former Australian Prime Minister John Howard on last night’s Q and A program on ABC TV said he “deserves a lot worse” than having shoes thrown at him.

Hunter Valley man Peter Gray was unapologetic about his actions this morning, telling Newcastle ABC Radio he was angry about Australia’s involvement in the Iraq War and he “found the right type of protest” to get his point across.

“That is for Iraqi dead,” the Sydney Morning herald quoted Gray, as shouting when the shoes missed their target.

However, he did express “regret” if his actions caused embarrassment to Q and A and its host, Tony Jones.

“I was certainly very frustrated to him [Mr Howard] not responding to the question I put to him,” he said.

He also refused to answer questions on whether the shoe throwing was premeditated or appropriate.

“I wish … I didn’t feel the need to do something like that. Everyone will make their judgment on whether it was the right thing to do,” he said.

Gray said he sympathized with Muntazer al-Zaidi, an Iraqi journalist who was jailed for throwing his shoes at former US president George Bush.

“The reason I threw shoes … [is] because it has significance for all the people in the Middle East and it’s the people I want to send a message to,” Gray said.

Gray confirmed that ABC staff refused to return his shoes. (ANI)

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