What began as a straight-forward visit to a high school near Brisbane by Julia Gillard descended into farce when a schoolboy was accused of hurling half a Vegemite sandwich at the Prime Minister.
Kyle Thomson allegedly threw the remains of his lunch at Ms Gillard as excited pupils mobbed, booed and cheered the Labor leader during what should have been a carefully orchestrated picture opportunity.
Kyle was immediately suspended for a fortnight after a teacher identified him as the guilty party. But the 16-year-old’s mother claimed her son had been unfairly blamed, and demanded a full review of all news footage of the Prime Minister’s visit to find the real culprit.
“Kyle’s no angel, don’t get me wrong, but I think there’s a lot more to the circumstances,” Anna Thomson told the Nine TV network.
Kyle insisted he had in fact tried to prevent another student from throwing the sandwich.
“I hit the sandwich out of the kid’s hand because he threw it,” he claimed.
Recovered from the playground fray, the Australian leader later laughed it off as “a bit of high jinx” and described the boy as “a little bit naughty”.