Ambassador to France offers resignation after 'bizarre' Abbott airport incident - Sydney Morning Her

EXCLUSIVEAustralia's ambassador to France, Stephen Brady, pictured during his time as official secretary to the governor-general. Photo: Stuart WalmsleyAustralia's ambassador to France offered his resignation after an incidentwhile greeting Tony Abbott as he arrived in Paris on Anzac Day.According to multiple sources, the ambassador, Stephen Brady, was onthe airport tarmac with his partner of 32 years, Peter Stephens, waiting tomeet the incoming plane around 7pm Paris time.The prime minister's travelling party sent an instruction that Mr Stephensshould not take part in the greeting but should wait in the car.The close control of Mr Abbott's arrangements by his staff was one of themost often cited sources of disgruntlement with his leadership when aspill motion was moved against him in February.After the Gallipoli ceremonials for Anzac Day, Mr Abbott visited Franceto unveil the design of the Sir John Monash centre at the site of a WorldWar One battlefield at Villers-Bretonneux.The centre, named after the brilliant Australian general whose strategybroke Germany's advance, is intended as a way of explaining Australia'swartime involvement.Mr Abbott also held talks with the French president, Francois Hollande,on intelligence sharing and counter-terrorism.The government'sAssistant Treasurer, JoshFrydenberg,told ABC's Radio Nationalhe doubted story was true, and rushedto praise the Ambassador's credentials.Mr Frydenberg said he understood the Prime Minister had been "willing and wanting to meet them both" during an interview on the ABC's Radio National on Tuesday night."I doubt that [the story] would be true, because as I understand it the Prime Minister was very happy to meet the both of them. In fact the prime minister knows Stephen Brady very well, no doubt he has met his partner Peter before," he said.Mr Frydenberg said he had been a good friends with Mr Brady for years and he was "a fantastic and loyal diplomat".He rejected suggestions it was "sinister" that the Prime Minister's office had not denied the story, and suggested "there may be issues around protocol"."I doubt the story is what people are trying to make it out to be because the prime minster would have a great deal of respect for Stephen Brady and no doubt would have been happy to meet his partner as I understand he was," he said.with James Massola href='' - -