Anthony Albanese has been heavily criticised for attending the wedding of radio shock jock Kyle Sandilands and bride Tegan Kynaston, with some branding it a “disgraceful” move for the country’s prime minister.
The million dollar affair took place at The Swifts mansion in Sydney’s affluent suburb of Darling Point on Saturday, which was attended by a slew of famous and infamous identities.
Mr Albanese rubbing shoulders with former gangland figure John Ibrahim and convicted drug smuggler Simon Main – both in Sandilands’ bridal party – was described by columnist Andrew Bolt as an example of him kissing “the backside of power”.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was captured with Kyle Sandilands and Tegan Kynaston’s son, Otto. Picture: Twitter
“Albanese last week tried to defend going to this flashy $1m wedding of Sandilands and Tegan Kynaston, saying it was all about ‘witnessing their expression of love’. Besides, he wasn’t ‘in charge of the guest list’. Hang on. Albanese wasn’t there to witness love, but to kiss the backside of power,” Bolt wrote in a Herald Sun piece published Sunday.
He claimed he was “disgusted” to see the PM “pimp himself out” in such a way, branding his attendance a “disgrace”.
Mr Bolt also argued Mr Albanese’s attendance was a deliberate ploy to gain Sandilands’ radio listeners as voters.
“Keeping sweet with Sandilands’ listeners – who must vote in our elections – is just Albanese’s way of staying in power. If Sandilands didn’t have a 15.9 per cent share of Sydney’s radio audience but 1.5, Albanese would have stayed home,” he wrote.
Bolt further accused Mr Albanese of attempting to sway public perception of what he got up to at the wedding by posing for photos with the couple’s nine-month-old son, Otto.
By doing so, according to Bolt, Mr Albanese was showing voters he was “cuddling a child; not cosying with crooks”.
Both Mr Albanese and New South Wales Premier Chris Minns were at the ritzy soiree, joining Sandilands’ co-host Jackie O, Guy Sebastian, Karl Stefanovic and former NRL player Beau Ryan.
Mr Albanese in the lead up to the wedding, after it was revealed Ibrahim and Main were also on the guest list, fielded criticism regarding his plan to go.
“Yes, I was invited to the wedding, yes I was invited in the context of Kyle saying how happy he was with Tegan,” he said.
There is question marks over whether Mr Albanese should have been among the colourful guest list.
“The thing that occurs at a wedding, it’s a public expression in front of people, invited guests, of love between two people. That’s a good thing. I enjoy weddings and I will be going to the wedding.”
Deputy Liberal leader Sussan Ley was also one of the people to question Mr Albanese’s decision to attend the event.
“Australians will rightly ask whether the Prime Minister should be spinning decks at a million dollar wedding when people can’t afford their rent,” Ms Ley said prior to the wedding.
“There is nothing wrong with going to a friend’s wedding, but it is curious that the Prime Minister thinks he can take a day off just days before his first real Budget.
“It can’t be right that the PM is kicking back tomorrow while aged care residents are being kicked out of their homes because of his government’s failures.”
According to a local, Mr Albanese “should be careful” with who he associates with.
“But I think he [Mr Albanese] should be careful. He is the prime minister and needs to be very careful what he does,” they told ABC.
“He is in the public eye, one needs to think these things out – both the premier and prime minister.”
On Twitter, members of the public referenced Sandilands’ many controversies in explaining why they thought it was a poor choice for the politicians to attend.
Among the controversies was Sandilands in 2019 claiming the mother of Jesus was “a liar who got knocked up behind a camel shed”.
Last year he made the offensive comment that monkeypox was a “big gay disease”, while in 2009 during a “lie detector” stunt on air a 14-year-old girl said she was raped when she was 12.
A slew of famous and infamous identities were among the crowd. Picture: Matrix Media Group
Backlash to the segment saw him sacked from his position on the Australian Idol judging panel.
Several social media users were also bothered with how much time Mr Albanese spent at the wedding in comparison to his limited time in Alice Springs when its youth crime captured national headlines.
“Remember when Anthony Albanese visited Alice Springs for a mere four hours in response to a national crisis? This weekend the PM spent SEVEN HOURS at Kyle Sandilands’ wedding. Just in case you’re wondering what his priorities are,” one person tweeted.
“Anthony Albanese could only manage to spend four hours visiting Alice Springs to witness its horrific turmoil, yet he found a whole day to spend at Kyle Sandilands’ wedding…” another said.
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“I expect anyone with a shred of self-worth would run a mile from Kyle Sandilands,” a third wrote.
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