Anthony Albanese takes a dig at Scott Morrison over his leaked texts scandal with French president – as he is grilled over wage growth, Australia’s energy crisis and relations with China
- Anthony Albanese has appeared on ABC’s 7.30 report for the first time as PM
- The prime minister was quizzed about whether wage growth will fuel inflation
- Leigh Sales also grilled him on energy prices and relations with China and France
- Asked how he will make amends with France, the PM took a dig at Scott Morrison
- He said he will not ‘leak texts to a newspaper for opportunistic headlines’
The prime minister appeared on ABC’s 7.30 report on Thursday night for the first time since he took over the office last month.
While Mr Albanese has spent the past few weeks working on fulfilling Labor’s election promises, veteran journalist Leigh Sales was eager to grill the nation’s leader on how his government plan to address the country’s most pressing issues.
During the interview, the PM was quizzed over whether his rise of the minimum wage will fuel inflation, Australia’s energy crisis and the country’s frosty relations with China.
But the PM saw one question – how he intends to repair the nation’s damaged relationship with France when he visits next week – as an opportunity to take a dig at his predecessor.
Anthony Albanese (pictured) sat down with Leigh Sales on ABC’s 7.30 report on Thursday night
The once-strong bond between the two nation’s was fractured when Scott Morrison tore up a $90billion submarine contract with France to forge the AUKUS nuclear sub alliance with Britain and the US.
Mr Macron said he was not told about Australia’s plans, which Mr Morrison denied, before texts were leaked to News Corp which had intended to show the French leader did know about the deal between the three countries.
‘What we can offer is a relationship between our respective leaders that won’t be leaked in order to make an opportunistic headline in the newspaper,’ Mr Albanese told the program.
‘One of respect and honesty in the way that we deal with each other. And also, the way that we’ll deal with climate change, as obviously reset our relationship with all of our international partners.’
Mr Morrison’s office was believed to be responsible for distributing the texts and a Senate estimates committee in February heard no government departments had launched an investigation into the leaks.
Mr Albanese said he won’t ‘leak texts’ from Emmanuel Macron as he intends to improve relations with France. Scott Morrison was accused of leaking the French president’s private messages to newspapers
A secret leaked text message (pictured) appears to show that Emmanuel Macron was given warning that Australia would torpedo its $90billion submarine deal with France
Mr Albanese told Sales he will visit Mr Macron in Paris next week to formally ‘reset’ diplomatic relations.
Earlier this month, the new Labor government agreed to pay French shipbuilder Naval Group $835 million in compensation for the cancelled deal.
‘We do need to reset. We’ve already had very constructive discussions,’ Mr Albanese said.
‘France, of course, is central to power in Europe, but it’s also a key power in the Pacific, in our own region as well.’
Mr Albanese will head to Paris next week to meet French President Emmanuel Macron (pictured with his wife Bridgette)
More to come.