Tanya Plibersek has dismissed questions about her leadership ambitions after she was quoted saying she could have won a contest between herself and Anthony Albanese.
The Environment Minister made the claim in an extract from Margaret Simon’s book, Tanya Plibersek: On Her Own Terms, published in the Nine Newspapers at the weekend.
But on Monday morning, Ms Plibersek refused to entertain questions about the book bombshell that she said she didn’t want written to begin with.
“I said from the very beginning that (I am) not going to offer a running commentary on this,” she said on Sunrise.
“I think politicians talking about themselves is the most boring thing in the world.”
Tanya Plibersek has dismissed questions about her future leadership ambitions. Picture: Liam Kidston
“I made clear to the author at the time that I didn’t want it written. She’s written a similar book about Penny Wong, who also did not want that book to be written.”
The former Labor deputy was widely expected to put her hat in the ring for the leadership following Bill Shorten’s election loss in 2019.
But she ultimately pulled out from the race, saying she wanted to spend more time with family, not because she didn’t have the numbers to beat out the now Prime Minister.
“That’s absolutely what people who like to background against me would say … We’ll never know. It’s history. But I am pretty confident that if I had run, I would have won,” the extract said.
In the extract from Simon’s book, Ms Plibersek opened up about her daughter Anna’s experience with an abusive relationship.
“I guess the only good thing to come out of telling this story is the opportunity to talk about the amazing work that Anna and some other volunteers are doing in setting up an organisation (the Survivor Hub),” she said.
“This is a book that I did not want written, and news stories have flowed from that. I would much rather be talking about the issues that are facing Australia today, not ancient history.”
Ms Plibersek told Sunrise the issue was ‘ancient history’. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage
On Saturday, Mr Albanese was also quick to deflect questions when asked.
“I was elected unopposed after the 2019 election, and I won in 2022. And I’m very proud of the amazing team that I have,” he told reporters after Labor’s Aston by-election campaign launch.
Former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce hit out the optics of Ms Plibersek’s claims going public the week the government stumbled over tax policy.
“We have already got Tanya and Jim (Chalmers) circling Mr Albanese for his job. A very interesting week were Tanya comes out and says that she could have been the prime minister, and I possibly reckon she could have and she wants to be the prime minister,” he told Sunrise.
“Absolute respect for the support you have given your daughter, 100 per cent, but the fact is we have you circling and you haven’t even been in government for 12 months.”
Read related topics:Anthony Albanese