Albanese stirs up trouble inside Labor

May 19, 2017

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Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese is deliberately stoking leadership tensions within Labor, reports Phil Coorey.

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“He’s definitely causing trouble,” the Fin Review’s chief political correspondent told David and Will on FIVEaa.

After publicly slamming Bill Shorten over a “shocker” TV ad, Albo has now contradicted his leader’s budget response in an address to a Perth union.

“It was subtle, but I can tell you it was deliberate -- I can 100 per cent tell you it was deliberate,” according to Phil.

He said after reporting Albo’s comments on Thursday, he received “blowback” from parts of the ALP -- but not Albanese or his staff.

“People went on Twitter saying you’re just making it up. I can assure you, we’re not.”

Phil speculated if the leadership doesn’t happen for Albanese now, “it never will”.

“Albanese has always wanted to be the leader of the Labor party.”

He questioned the timing of the push:

“Labor is six seats short of government. They’re six points ahead in the polls. They’re killing the Coalition on the policy debate… I’m not sure why you think it’s a good idea to start messing with all that.

But added: “Never ever underestimate Labor’s ability to destroy itself. They are the masters of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.”

On Friday, Albanese said talk of a rift with Shorten was “fake news”.

But Liberal frontbencher and regular FIVEaa sparring partner Chris Pyne said Albo had “fired the starter gun” on a leadership challenge -- and wished his rival well:

“And good luck to you, you will be better than Bill,” he said. “At least you believe in things. At least you’ve got some conviction.”

“You can’t wriggle out, you fired the starter gun. You are out of blocks.”

David and Will podcast on iTunes here.

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