The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten in Caboolture to launch the Longman campaign. Picture: Tara Croser
The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten in Caboolture to launch the Longman campaign. Picture: Tara Croser

Bill Shorten’s office omits bad press from mail-out

BILL SHORTEN has been accused of running a "Politburo" by censoring all news coverage that is negative towards him from the morning mail-out of newspaper clips sent to Labor MPs and staff.

The Daily Telegraph's front page story of the Galaxy Poll results predicting a Turnbull government win in the Queensland seat of Longman, along with the revelation leadership rival Anthony Albanese would have a better chance of winning by-election seats than Mr Shorten, was omitted from the email sent out just after 7am.

The front page of The Daily Telegraph for Monday, July 23, 2018.
The front page of The Daily Telegraph for Monday, July 23, 2018.

Also excluded from the morning mail-out, titled "Today's Newspaper Clips" was the Fairfax front page that the Turnbull government was gaining ground against Labor, along with all coverage of the Galaxy poll in every other News Corp paper around the country.

The email contained no mention of The Courier Mail's front-page that read "Bill We Can't Afford: Labor would rule by-election battles if Albo was leader."

But it did contain other Courier Mail stories which were more positive for Mr Shorten, including the launch of Labor candidate Susan Lamb's campaign in Longman.

The omission of coverage of the biggest political story of the day - the by-election polls - caused significant chatter among Labor MPs and staff and 35 minutes later, at 7.45am, the news alert was "reissued" with the full political coverage. The new email was titled "Reissue: Today's newspaper clips."

Last Monday, Mr Shorten's office is also understood to have omitted from its morning email The Australian's front-page coverage of Newspoll revealing Malcolm Turnbull opening up his largest margin over Bill Shorten in over two years.

 

 

One Labor source said it was a regular pattern for Mr Shorten's office to leave out stories that were negative to him.

"Do they think we are all so stupid that we don't read Newspoll or see the papers?" the source said. "It's like the Politburo."

Mr Shorten's office declined to comment yesterday on why negative stories were being left out of news alerts. However, they said another email yesterday showed the front page image of every paper around the country.

Anthony Albanese’s popularity has added six points to Labor’s primary vote in Longman, taking it to 43 per cent, and an extra four points in Braddon, to 44 per cent. Picture: John Appleyard
Anthony Albanese’s popularity has added six points to Labor’s primary vote in Longman, taking it to 43 per cent, and an extra four points in Braddon, to 44 per cent. Picture: John Appleyard

Mr Shorten is facing growing leadership pressure inside the Labor Party, after a string of major bungles damaged his credibility. These include the fact he mislead the Australian public on whether any Labor MPs were dual citizens and the backflip on his "captain's call" over repealing company tax cuts for small business.

The Galaxy poll yesterday showed both Longman in Queensland and Braddon in Tasmania would be winnable if Mr Albanese was leader of the Labor Party.