Axe 'stupid' Big Brother, says Howard

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The Independent Online

John Howard, the Australian Prime Minister, called for his country's version of Big Brother to be taken off the air after a female contestant claimed that she had been sexually abused.

Police investigated the programme over the weekend after two men were evicted from the house for allegedly holding down a fellow contestant and rubbing her face in their crotches. The incident was not broadcast by Australia's Channel 10 and no charges have been brought.

Mr Howard was quick to voice his disapproval of the incident. "Here is a great opportunity for a bit of self-regulation and to get this stupid programme off the air," he told Australian radio. "It is just a question of good taste."

However the opposition Democrat senator, Andrew Bartlett, accused the Prime Minister of unnecessary intrusion. "It is politicians trying to be Big Brother that we really need to be concerned about," he said.