Peter Costello has canvassed a return to federal politics with his old friend Michael Kroger, according to ABC 7.30′s Heather Ewart.
In a report broadcast tonight, Ewart claims Costello and Kroger discussed a return via the electorate of Kooyong, currently held by the promising newcomer Josh Frydenberg. Ewart says they also discussed the possibility of persuading other Liberal members to stand aside in favour of Costello.
Ewart says the discussions are common knowledge amongst Victorian Liberals and have contributed to factional infighting. She says Costello has not spoken with Kroger since word spread and that some Liberals believe Costello was behind the successful move to relegate Kroger’s ex-wife Senator Helen Kroger to the difficult third position on the next Senate ticket.
Ewart claimed that Kroger was under pressure yesterday to relinquish her position as Liberal Whip in the Senate by the Liberal Senate leader Eric Abetz. She says Abetz claimed that Senator Mitch Fifield, a former Costello staffer and Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate, could not work with her.
Costello was the member for Higgins, adjacent to Kooyong, from 1990 until 2009. Ewart claims he did not consider asking his successor, Kelly O’Dwyer, to stand aside.
- Listen to Heather Ewart’s report on 7.30
- ABC News online report