Bill Shorten blames ‘corporate leviathans’ and media for Labor election loss

Headshot of Annabel Hennessy
Annabel HennessyThe West Australian
VideoBill Shorten has blamed "sections of the media" and negative advertising for his shock election loss as he passes the baton to Anthony Albanese.

Bill Shorten has blamed “corporate leviathans” and the media for Labor’s election loss after he was yesterday named on the Opposition frontbench.

Speaking to Labor caucus for the first time since quitting as leader, Mr Shorten attacked “powerful vested interests” for working against the party.

“Obviously we were up against corporate leviathans, a financial behemoth, spending unprecedented hundreds of millions of dollars advertising, telling lies, spreading fear,” Mr Shorten said. “Powerful vested interests campaigned against us through sections of the media itself, and they got what they wanted.”

He “accepted there are lessons to be learnt from defeat” but said the party should take time to reflect rather than listen to “commentators’ snap judgments, or hindsight masquerading as insight”.

New leader Anthony Albanese, however, told caucus he accepted his role in the defeat.

“I accept my share as a senior shadow minister in the show, for the fact that we weren't successful,” he said.

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“I think the senior members, all of us, have to accept responsibility, that those many millions of Australians who rely upon us and the tens of thousands of people who have worked on our campaigns, need us to do better next time.”

Mr Albanese was endorsed as leader by the caucus with Victorian MP Richard Marles taking over as deputy leader.

Penny Wong was re-elected as Labor leader in the Senate and SA senator Don Farrell stepped aside so NSW senator Kristina Keneally could become deputy Senate leader.

The party also announced its frontbench team with WA MPs Matt Keogh and Madeleine King included.

Despite Mr Shorten saying during the campaign he planned to make Pat Dodson indigenous affairs minister if Labor won government, Senator Dodson did not get a frontbench spot.

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