An Australian minister has apologised to a pie shop owner after he was accused of hurling abuse at her for allegedly insulting prime minister Julia Gillard.
Bill Shorten, famed for his undying loyalty to Australian Labor leader, was accused of launching into an 'F-word' rant at Annie Huang after believing she told him the pie he wanted would be "soft, like Julia Gillard".
Huang said that the workplace relations minister came into her shop to buy a "Boscastle pie", but she was sold out. Having offered to put a pie in the microwave for him she said she warned him it would be soft.
Speaking to 3AWRadio, she said he then turned around and said a "very angry f-word" to her. "I am very angry, I am not happy" the Labor supporting Huang said.
Shorten told news.com.au he thought Huang had insulted Gillard when all he wanted to do was buy a pie for his son.
"I was taking my son to soccer and he was starving. She said the pie would be soft. And then she said something about Julia Gillard," he said.
However the minister said that having spoke to Huang, he accepted the Labor supporting shop owner may have in fact said: "It would be soft. I like Julia Gillard."
"I've apologised for any misunderstanding. It's a big misunderstanding," Shorten said.
Shorten, a possible future leader of his party, shot to worldwide fame in April aftera video clip of him became a global internet sensation. The video showed him telling a baffled interviewer that he agreed with Gillard, even though he did not know what the prime minister had said.
His run-in with Huang has caused a bit of a light relief for Australians looking glumly at their Olympic medal haul, with many taking to Twitter to poke fun at what has been dubbed "piegate".