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Australian PM mistaken for spouse at leaders' forum

Thursday September 15, 2011 01:01:23 PM, IANS

Melbourne: Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard was stopped from getting on a bus with leaders of the Pacific islands at a forum in New Zealand. She was told by the driver to get on the bus for spouses.

New Zealand's internal affairs department said the incident happened at the forum in Auckland last week. Gillard was offered an apology as soon as officials found out, The Australian daily reported.

The driver was immediately told of the mix-up and Gillard was allowed on the leaders' bus that took the dignitaries from the hotel to the waterfront, a spokesman said.

The driver was not put on duty again during the forum, officials said.

Gillard, however, was not offended by the incident, an aide said. She was heard joking with her partner Tim Mathieson about the incident.

There were more mix-ups during the forum. At the opening ceremony, the host addressed the leaders' spouses and told them to "come up and meet your husbands".






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