Anthony Albanese has defended Tanya Plibersek for comparing the new Leader of the Opposition to Harry Potter’s bald villain ‘Voldemort’, arguing that Scott Morrison has teased him about his appearance in the past.
On Thursday, Sunrise host Natalie Barr quizzed the new Prime Minister on the brutal insult to Peter Dutton, pointing out there would be “hell to pay” if a man made fun of a female MP’s appearance.
Ms Plibersek, who is set to become the country’s next education minister after Labor’s historic election victory, said many children who watched the films will be very ‘scared’ of the former defense minister when they will see it on television.
“I say he looks a bit like Voldemort and we’ll see if he can do what he promised to do in his last run for the lead, which was to smile more,” Ms. Plibersek on 4BC radio.
Mr Dutton weighed in on the saga on Thursday telling 2GB radio he reads about similar attacks online all the time and it’s “It’s water off a duck’s back”.
Mr Dutton revealed to host Ray Hadley that he also suffers from a rare skin condition and was ‘not bald by choice’.
Peter Dutton (pictured), who is set to be the next leader of the Liberal Party, has been compared to Harry Potter’s nemesis Voldemort by Labor MP Tanya Plibersek
WHAT DID SCOTT MORRISON SAY ABOUT THE NEW PM?
Scott Morrison bullied the Labor leader on several occasions before the election by slamming Mr Albanese’s new appearance after losing 18kg.
Mr Morrison’s original comments came during a Sky News ‘town hall’ meeting with NSW Central Coast voters in March, where host Paul Murray said: ‘I don’t pretend to be someone ‘another’. I always wear the same glasses.
‘Unfortunately the same costumes (too). I weigh about the same height and a bit of Italian cake doesn’t bother me either. I feel good about myself, I don’t pretend to be someone else.
“And when you’re prime minister, you can’t pretend to be someone else. You have to know who you are, because if you don’t know who you are, then how are other people going to know?’
Barr asked Mr Albanese if he planned to “line up (Ms Plibersek)” on the comments.
The new Prime Minister replied: “She has already apologised”.
“There are a few comments made by the former Prime Minister about my appearance which you may recall from the election campaign.
“We shouldn’t refer to people’s looks, let’s discuss policy differences,” he told the programme.
Mr Albanese said he was ‘extremely serious’ about changing the way politics works in this country, but also understood that ‘people make mistakes’.
“When they make a mistake, they have to apologize and we move on,” he said.
“It’s one of the ways we can change the way politics works and Tanya has done the right thing here.”
Tanya Plibersek (right) is pictured with her husband Michael Coutts-Trotter (left). Ms Plibersek is slammed for a comment she made about Peter Dutton’s appearance
Anthony Albanese (right) defended Tanya Plibersek on Sunrise (Natalie Barr left next to David Koch) after comparing the new opposition leader to the bald villain of Harry Potter ‘Voldemort’, arguing that Scott Morrison has it also teased about his appearance in the past
Mr. Albanese detailed exactly the remarks that Mr. Morrison made about him before the election.
“Scott Morrison had a whole show that seemed to be about analyzing my glasses or whether I had lost weight or what I looked like. We can do better than that,” he said.
He also surprised TV hosts by saying he had a good personal relationship with Peter Dutton.
“He never broke a confidence or his word to me. It’s a good starting point,” Mr Albanese said.
“I certainly have a better relationship with the future leader of the Liberal Party, I think. If that happens. I wish him the best of luck. I want to work in the whole parliament, as far as possible.
On Monday, Mr Albanese was sworn in as prime minister before heading to the Quad leaders’ summit in Tokyo. Pictured, L-R: Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Mr Albanese has been on track since winning Saturday’s election.
On Monday, he was sworn in as prime minister before flying to the Quad leaders’ summit in Tokyo.
The regional security partnership includes Australia, the United States, Japan and India and aims to counter Chinese aggression in the Indo-Pacific.
US President Joe Biden hailed Mr Albanese’s endurance on his first day on the job.
“You took an oath, got on a plane and if you fall asleep while you’re here, it’s okay because I don’t know how you do it,” he said.
“It’s really quite extraordinary to come out of the election campaign as well.
US President Joe Biden hailed Mr Albanese’s endurance on his first day on the job (pictured together at the Quad meeting)
‘Congratulations on your election. When you won and I called you, we greatly appreciate your commitment to be here so soon after taking office.
On his return to Australia, the Prime Minister called the whirlwind trip a big success, but admitted he was still getting used to his title.
“It really hit home when people start calling you prime minister and you realize you’re not looking for someone else, it’s actually you,” he told Sunrise.
As for Ms Plibersek, she apologized to Mr Dutton via text message.