Shorten’s the enemy: Frydenberg
Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg has urged Coalition MPs to “remember who our real opponent is” after denying he had regrets about ridiculing Tony Abbott for undermining Malcolm Turnbull.
Mr Frydenberg said he stood by his criticisms of the former prime minister, despite Mr Abbott’s former chief of staff Peta Credlin claiming the Energy Minister had told her he would refrain from any commentary in the future.
He said the government should unite in an effort to defeat Bill Shorten. “I will leave private conversations to that but I have made it very clear that I stand by those previous words, that I will continue to call it as I see it,” Mr Frydenberg told The Daily Telegraph’s Miranda Live podcast.
“But as for the Coalition’s chances at the next election, they are enhanced by our ability to stick together as a team and to remember who our real opponent is; it is Bill Shorten.”
Mr Frydenberg last week showed dismay that Mr Abbott had ramped up his negative comments about the Prime Minister after the government’s 30th consecutive Newspoll loss to Labor.
“(Mr Abbott) is always going to cut across what the Prime Minister has been saying lately,” Mr Frydenberg told the Nine Network.
Speaking on Sky News on Monday night, Credlin said Mr Frydenberg’s comments had “diminished” him in the eyes of conservatives. “It certainly wouldn’t have helped him with the base,” Ms Credlin said.
“I think it was levity, I think he thought it was funny, I think afterwards he probably reflected and decided it wasn’t funny. I have had a conversation with him, I’m not going to go into it on air, but I don’t think you will see that again.”
Opposition infrastructure spokesman Anthony Albanese said Credlin was attempting to dictate what cabinet ministers should say. “As Josh should, he has called Tony Abbott out for being a wrecker because that is the way that he is behaving,” Mr Albanese told Sky News.
“What’s extraordinary was Peta Credlin’s comments. I mean, this is a Sky News commentator seeking to dictate to cabinet ministers what they say. I’m not surprised that Josh Frydenberg has rejected that.”