‘It worked’: Today host exposes problem
TODAYhost Deborah Knight has grilled Joel Fitzgibbon over Labor's disastrous election results, exposing one of the party's big problems - its election strategy.
Mr Fitzgibbon said he was baffled as to how Scott Morrison was re-elected as prime minister.
"Can you believe this guy is now prime minister again and he has no agenda?" he asked.
"He did four weeks in an election campaign without saying what he's going to do..."
That prompted Ms Knight to interrupt.
"But it worked with voters Joel and they won government. You have to take that on-board," she said.
"Exactly, exactly why I am talking to you this morning," he responded.
“I think we can chew gum and walk at the same time. You can have a strong coal mining industry while at the same time taking meaningful action on climate change.” @fitzhunter confirms he will run for the Labor leadership. Do you back him? #9Today pic.twitter.com/lNSinqL66l— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) May 20, 2019
Mr Fitzgibbon, the latest Labor MP who has put his hand up for the leadership, offered his own explanation for Labor's defeat.
It comes as shadow treasurer Chris Bowen has confirmed he will stand for the leadership too.
Mr Bowen joins Anthony Albanese, Jim Chalmers and Mr Fitzgibbon in the race.
Mr Fitzgibbon said he would "much rather someone else" be leader than himself.
"But if I need to do it to secure the new path, the new direction we need then I certainly will," he said.
Mr Fitzgibbon, who suffered a swing against him in the NSW seat of Hunter, said he had been telling Labor for "23 years" about issues within the party.
"I did tell them during the campaign that we are in a world of pain because of equivocation over Adani," he said.
"Of course Scott Morrison and One Nation saw that weakness and they exploited it."
"If you open yourself up to a scare campaign, yourself up to a scare campaign, you can't then complain about it.
"We opened ourselves up to that opportunity because we weren't prepared to do the simple thing and say 'Yes, we will support Adani if can stand on its own two feet and pass the high hurdles that we set'."
His comments come as Labor MP Jim Chalmers, who hails from the right, said last night he was considering a tilt at the position.
"I'm considering it. I'm talking to my colleagues about it. I don't think it's unreasonable that a few of us take some time to work out what we want to do," he told ABC's Q&A program.
Anthony Albanese has already said he intends to stand for the leadership, after he lost to Mr Shorten the last time the party held a ballot.
Chris Bowen is the other name being mentioned. But Labor's deputy leader Tanya Plibersek ruled herself out yesterday.
Mr Albanese has stressed he won't take a unilateral approach to policymaking if he convinces the federal Labor Party to make him their leader.
But the long-time MP believes Labor needs to take a hard look at some of their policies after Saturday's election drubbing.
"There are issues that need re-examining," he told ABC's 7:30 last night.
"It's up to the caucus. One of the things that I'm not going to do, if I'm elected as leader of the Labor Party, is to make policy on the run. I'll talk with the caucus, we'll consult."
Mr Albanese remains the only federal Labor MP to have declared his intention to contest the party's leadership since Mr Shorten resigned on election night.
He became the first to officially announce his run at a pub in Balmain, in Sydney's inner west.
He was full of praise for Mr Shorten who will remain in an interim role until his successor is chosen.
"He has fought a tough campaign, he has led our great party for six years. He has been an inclusive leader and is someone who has campaigned on a policy agenda in the interests of working people and is someone who has my respect," Mr Albanese said.
Ms Plibersek has confirmed she won't be throwing her hat into the ring for the top job despite support from across the party.
"Now is not my time," she said in a statement yesterday.
"At this point, I cannot reconcile the important responsibilities I have to my family with the additional responsibilities of the Labor leadership. I know some people will be disappointed with this decision."
Ms Plibersek intends to continue as Labor deputy leader until the party's leadership is determined.
Labor national president Wayne Swan paid tribute to Ms Plibersek but declined to say who should run.
Mr Shorten was reportedly backing Ms Plibersek for the leadership, The Australian reported on Sunday night, citing senior Labor sources.
Former prime minister Julia Gillard also came out in support of Ms Plibersek for the top job.
Labor's national executive committee met on Monday to lay out the framework for the leadership ballot.
The full Labor executive, comprising senior MPs and key party officials, will meet on Wednesday.
The search for the next leader is expected to take about one month. Rank and file members will first cast their votes, followed by the federal Labor caucus, before the results are averaged out and a winner crowned.
Mr Fitzgibbon is another MP who is considering to run for the leadership.
After Saturday's election loss, Mr Fitzgibbon believes the party has drifted too far to the left.
"We certainly have to get back to the centre, and we have to reconnect to our working class base," he told ABC Radio National.
"Someone needs to indicate that they are the person who is prepared to put us back on track. And if someone's not prepared to do that, well, I might just do it myself."
- with AAP