13/01/2016 1:54 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

Mark Latham Calls John Howard 'Little Bastard' And A 'Handshake Mongrel' On TV


An old interview with controversial former Labor leader Mark Latham has resurfaced, where he sounds off on politicians past and present including calling former Prime Minister John Howard a "little bastard" and "handshake mongrel" and Tony Abbott "a failed priest".

An interview with Latham was broadcast on Channel 7's Morning Show on Wednesday. The interview was first aired in March 2015 around the release of his latest book 'Latham At Large,' replayed on the show as part of its "summer series". (Watch the full interview here)

The conversation turned to former PM John Howard, with whom Latham shared an infamously aggressive handshake outside a radio studio in 2004.

Latham gave his account of the lead-up to the incident, claiming Howard had given Latham's wife an aggressive handshake in the weeks earlier.

"I set out the story in my diaries where at a St George rugby league function... It's not that funny, actually, because at a function five days earlier, in coming along the line to shake everyone's hand, Howard squeezed my wife's hand so tight, she turned to me and said, "that little fella there has just crushed my hand," to the point where she really, really felt it. At a time when we talk about the problem of domestic violence, I didn't fancy the idea of this little bloke crushing my wife's hand to the point where she was almost crying," Latham claimed.

"She was almost crying... he's lucky that's all he got... if it was out in the streets and pubs of where I live, they would have decked the little bastard."

Hosts Larry Emdur and Kylie Gilles then asked Latham to play a word association game, where he was shown pictures of politicians and asked to give his assessment. On Tony Abbott, he said "Bad priest... He got kicked out of the priesthood. How do you do that? He was jumping the fence down the seminary."

On Bill Shorten: "Little Bill."

On Julie Bishop: "Hopeless... I remember her time as shadow treasurer when she was completely useless."

On Jacqui Lambie: "Big package," referring to Lambie's own controversial radio interview where she asked a caller if he was "well hung".

When shown Howard's picture, Latham replied "handshake mongrel".

The interview is now nine months old, but just another reminder of the *colourful* man who almost became our prime minister in 2004.