Julie Bishop Blasts 'Appalling Behaviour' Of Bullying In Parliament

The behaviour in parliament wouldn't be "tolerated in any other workplaces across Australia", said Bishop.

Julie Bishop is at last free to speak her mind.

In her first speech since resigning the Foreign Affairs Minister role, the former deputy leader of the Liberal party called out the toxic culture on both sides of politics that wouldn't be "tolerated in any other workplaces across Australia".

Speaking at a Women's Weekly awards event in Sydney, Bishop described the "embarrassing circus" in the nation's capital, saying politicians showed contempt for each other and were "applauded".

"Politics is robust, the very nature of it, it's not for the faint-hearted," she said at the event.

"I have seen and witnessed and experienced some appalling behaviour in parliament, the kind of behaviour that 20 years ago when I was managing partner of a law firm of 200 employees I would never have accepted."

READ MORE: Lisa Wilkinson: If Julie Bishop Was 'One Of The Boys' She'd Be Prime MinisterREAD MORE: Julia Banks Resigns With Blistering Statement On Bullying

In recent days, both Liberal Senator Lucy Gichuhi and Liberal MP Julia Banks have said they were subject to bullying and intimidation from male colleagues during last month's leadership spill, with the latter announcing she would not recontest her seat in a scorched earth letter of resignation.

Bishop questioned why her party had trouble attracting and attaining women.

"When a feisty, amazing woman like Julia Banks says this environment is not for me, don't say 'toughen up princess', say 'enough is enough'," she said.

"I say to my party, it is not acceptable for our party to contribute to the fall in Australia's ratings from 15th in the world in terms of female parliamentary representation in 1999 to 50th today. There's a lot to be done."

Contact the author: abrucesmith@networkten.com.auPhoto: AAPWith AAP