Anthony Albanese has denied allegations that he has been undermining Bill Shorten’s leadership of the ALP.
Albanese made a personal explanation after Question Time in the House of Representatives, in response to an article by Troy Bramston in The Australian today. Later, he was interviewed by David Speers on Sky News.
Bramston’s article was titled: With friends like Albo, Bill’s in bother. In it, he claimed: “During the past few months, Albanese has been unremitting critic of Shorten to anyone who will listen. Albanese has rubbished Shorten to MPs, party figures, union leaders, staff and even journalists.”
Bramston said that “Albanese has form”, a reference to Albanese’s role as a Rudd supporter in the leadership conflicts with Julia Gillard. Bramston wrote: “‘He was up to his neck in it,’ one of Rudd’s supporters told me. Yet Albanese escaped without the stain of betrayal.”
Bramston quoted from former Foreign Minister Bob Carr’s diary in support of his claim of “Albanese’s deceit of Gillard”. Despite supporting party reform, Albanese “has a long history of secret deal-making with the Right faction and Left sub-factions to carve up parliamentary seats for apparatchiks”, Bramston said, claiming that Albanese “has been one of the leading advocates for federal intervention over local candidate preselections”.
Albanese was defeated by Shorten in last year’s historic rank-and-file ballot for the ALP leadership. He won 59.92% of the members’ vote but was defeated by Shorten, who won 63.95% of the caucus vote.
Albanese denied the allegations of disloyalty and said Bramston’s article was “a series of assertions and hearsay with nothing to back it up. He described Bramston as “a failed factional apparatchik”.
- Listen to Albanese’s personal explanation in the House (2m – transcript below)
- Watch Albanese (2m)
- Watch Albanese’s interview with David Speers (10m)
- Listen to Albanese’s interview with David Speers (8m)
Hansard transcript of personal explanation by Anthony Albanese.
Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler) (15:21): Madam Speaker, I seek leave to give a personal explanation.
The SPEAKER: Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?
Mr ALBANESE: I do.
The SPEAKER: Please proceed.
Mr ALBANESE: In today’s edition of The Australian an opinion piece by Troy Bramston contains a number of falsehoods, assertions and fictions. Only one of the assertions is backed up by a quote with an attribution, which it is now drawn to my attention is from Bob Carr’s recent book. The book says that Bob Carr had received a telephone call from New South Wales Labor’s secretary, who said:
“he had just taken calls from (Chris) Bowen and Albanese complaining that I had undermined their pro-Rudd campaign”.
As now Senator Sam Dastyari has confirmed to the Senate, this is not correct. As Senator Dastyari also confirmed, my only comments to him at the time were that people should shut up about the leadership and get on with the business of governing.
As for the other assertions, they are absurd, wrong, without any attribution, unprofessional and contradicted by a cursory examination of the facts and recent history. The fact is that I am working hard each and every day to hold this government to account. That is my only focus.