I followed a twitter link to this story thinking it was current. In fact its a Daily Telegraph item from August 2009. Which raises the obvious question, what is this guy doing still in the Australian Liberal Party?
MALCOLM Turnbull wanted to become Kim Beazley’s shadow finance minister during the second term of the Howard Government. The Sunday Telegraph has confirmed Mr Turnbull approached at least six senior ALP figures, including former Prime Minister Bob Hawke, actively seeking their endorsement to join the ALP at the time of the republic referendum.
Speaking for the first time on the issue, Mr Hawke said Mr Turnbull approached him on November 6, 1999, at Sydney’s Marriott Hotel following the referendum’s defeat. Mr Hawke said yesterday he remembered the conversation clearly. Mr Turnbull told him: “Bob, the only thing I can do now is join the Labor Party.”
Mr Hawke said he replied by telling Mr Turnbull “he could be accommodated” and that “the Labor Party was a broad church”.
The former senior ALP staffer David Britton, who founded the Labor lobbying firm HawkerBritton, said Mr Turnbull told him at the time of the referendum he was “deeply p….. off with Howard” – and that he had a “very different social agenda” to the then prime minister. Mr Turnbull told Mr Britton: “Don’t you think Kim Beazley would like somebody like me as his finance spokesman?”
Another senior figure in the republican movement told The Sunday Telegraph he also talked to Mr Turnbull about his Labor ambitions. Tony Pooley, who now works for NSW Minister Kristina Keneally, said Mr Turnbull “had reflected on the fact he had some general discussions with Paul Keating about representing Labor federally”.
Former Labor powerbroker Graham Richardson revealed in October, 2003, that Mr Turnbull had sought a safe Senate seat from him. Mr Turnbull, seeking Liberal pre-selection for the seat of Wentworth at the time, labelled the claim a “lie”.
However, Mr Richardson this week told The Sunday Telegraph he stood by the claim. He said there were “a string of witnesses” to the half-hour meeting with Mr Turnbull, which took place in his office.
Shocking stuff. If true, why wasn’t Turnbull kicked out at the time this story broke? There’s more at the link.
Categories: Australian Politics