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Australia's Prime Minister is slammed after footage shows him downing a beer in seconds

Best of the WebBy Neil Fetherston
Tony Abbott prepares to down his beer
Tony Abbott prepares to down his beer

Australia's Prime Minister has come under fire after he was videoed downing a beer in a few seconds at a Sydney pub.

The video showed Tony Abbott knocking back a glass of Victoria Bitter in about six seconds as a large crowd surrounding him yelled “scull” repeatedly.

“Scull” is a slang term for drinking a glass of beer in one go.

The prime minister was at a bar in east Sydney on Saturday along with players from the UTS Bats Australian Rules football team.

Some members of the team shouted chants encouraging him to finish his drink in one move - and Mr Abbott duly complied.

Simon Carrodus, an Australian Football Rules coach for the University of Technology, Sydney told the Australian Women’s Weekly magazine that his university’s football club was holding an event at an eastern Sydney pub when they spotted the prime minister.

“I walked over to Tony and said ‘will you come over and have a beer with the best players as part of the (club’s) presentation’,” he said.

“He said ‘absolutely no problem’.”

The prime minister, who last January warned of the dangers of binge drinking, was previously mocked by some for ordering a shandy — a half-beer, half-lemonade drink — during the 2010 general election.

Social media users debated Abbott’s beer-drinking actions, with some suggesting he had used it to get a boost in opinion polls after surviving a leadership challenge in February.

“When Tony Abbott is so low on approval that he skulls a beer to try to make himself seem likable,” one user wrote on Twitter, posting a picture of the leader at the pub.

Earlier this year Taoiseach  Enda Kenny said he “rejects” the assertion made by Tony Abbott that our national holiday is synonymous with alcohol.

The Taoiseach was responding to comments made by Abbott in his St Patrick’s Day address.

In the video, Abbott wears a green tie and states that the 17th of March is the “one day of the year when it’s good to be green” – a swipe at the Australian Green party.

He apologises for not being able to attend St Patrick’s Day events with Irish business leaders and share “a Guinness or two and maybe even three”.

“This is the love of life and good humour that the Irish have given Australia. Indeed, it’s been said of us that the English made the laws, the Scots made the money, and the Irish made the songs,” Abbott adds.

Kenny told reporters he disagreed with Abbott’s remarks.

“I’ve heard the Prime Minister’s comments. He made them. I don’t agree with that,” he said.

ABC reported that Kenny said it is “perfectly in order for so many Irish people in Australia to have an enjoyable celebration of St Patrick’s Day and St Patrick’s week, and to do so in a thoroughly responsible fashion”.

“There has been a long-term view of a stage Irish perception," he said. "I reject that.”