Abbott’s taunts anger Labor MPs
28 February 2006
The federal Health Minister, Tony Abbott, has infuriated Labor MPs by taunting them about the bitter preselection row in Victoria.
Labor frontbencher Bob Sercombe has withdrawn from his preselection nomination citing sleazy deals.
Six other Victorian Labor MPs are being challenged, including former leader Simon Crean.
Mr Abbott outraged Labor with this description of ethnic branches in Mr Crean’s electorate:
"He’s lost the Vietnamese branches as well as the Cambodian branches and I couldn’t help but think are there any Australians left in the so-called Australian Labor [Party] today."
Labor’s Anthony Albanese has condemned Mr Abbott’s comments.
"In order to get a vote in the Australian Labor Party, unlike the Liberal Party, you actually have to be an Australian citizen," he said.
"It does not matter if you name is Smith or Abbott or Albanese or Panopolous or Wong. We are Australians all."
Mr Abbott has withdrawn his comment.