Serbian lawmakers have voted to dismiss the defense minister who had insulted a female journalist with a sexist remark.

Bratislav Gasic was fired after a stormy parliament session Friday that at one point saw most of the ruling populist coalition officials walk out of the meeting after verbal clashes with opposition lawmakers.

Gasic sparked outrage in December after a journalist from B92 Television knelt down in front of him to avoid being in the way of cameras as he spoke to a group of reporters during a visit to a factory. He commented: "I like these female journalists who kneel down so easily."

Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic reluctantly agreed to fire Gasic, one of his closest associates, after a series of protests organized by Serbia's journalist unions.