In a move that will outrage the old money brigade at the Royal Adelaide Golf Club, Senator Bernardi has divulged a private conversation between him and federal MP Christopher Pyne when they were trying to be friendly. The move will greatly displease Leader Malcolm Turnbull who is wanting to keep the Opposition’s focus on challenging the government over its handling of an imminent recession.
News Limited’s Steve Lewis has the yarn and it really is a treat for those who enjoying mocking the uber-ambitious Pyne. It has Pyne saying some very odd and embarrassing things about only joining the Libs because he lived in a Liberal area and such.
Bernardi is seen by insiders as very unlikely to lie about the conversation but is also seen as something of a skunk for doing so.
“It’s not how we do things in Adelaide, old chap” one of our Adelaide snouts explained while downing latte and croissant this morning.
Here’s Lewis’s splendid yarn:
A VICIOUS factional brawl in the Liberal Party threatens to undermine Malcolm Turnbullâ€™s grip on the leadership.
Christopher Pyne, the key parliamentary strategist he appointed, has been accused of being a political chameleon by one of his senior colleagues.
In explosive revelations, Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi said Mr Pyne once told him he would have joined the ALP â€˜â€˜if I lived in a Labor seatâ€™â€™. Senator Bernardi also recalled Mr Pyne saying his â€˜â€˜only motivationâ€™â€™ for entering politics was to become prime minister.
The spat exposes deep factional divisions in South Australia and highlights widespread unrest in the Liberal Party over the decision to promote Mr Pyne, a leading moderate, as manager of opposition business.
â€˜â€˜Heâ€™s been rewarded for years of treachery,â€™â€™ one senior Liberal figure said.
Mr Pyne last night strongly denied the Bernardi allegations.
The Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Families, in a public note issued last night, revealed a conversation he claimed to have had with a Liberal MP in the mid-1990s. The conversation allegedly occurred in a round of golf at Royal Adelaide Golf Club.
â€˜â€˜In response to my question of why he joined the Liberal Party, the MP blithely responded: â€˜I live in a Liberal seat so I had to be a member of the Liberal Party to get into Parliament. If I lived in a Labor seat I would have joined the Labor Party,â€™â€™ Senator Bernardi said.
For those who wish to add to their Anti-Pyne scrapbooks click here for the full clip from today’s Addy.