Ray Hadley has asked Anthony Albanese to ‘do something about’ Kristina Keneally following reports that fellow Labor Senator Kimberley Kitching was ‘bullied’ before her fatal heart attack.
The 2GB radio host said he had the former New South Wales Premier’s ‘rant’ that led Labor to the worst defeat of a sitting government in state history in 2011.
Mr Albanese refused to launch an investigation after Senator Kitching’s allies claimed she had been ostracized and bullied by Labor ‘bad guys’ Penny Wong, Katy Gallagher and Ms Keneally.
Hadley asked if Ms Keneally had an incriminating photo of Mr Albanese which prevented him from properly investigating her.
“What Kristina Keneally has on Anthony Albanese, is there a picture that no one knows she has,” he said in a chat with fellow host Ben Fordham shortly before 9 Thursday morning hours.
‘I had a swallow of her. She ruined things for the Labor Party in New South Wales in 2011 when she lost 32 seats, the worst defeat ever.
“And all they have done since then, Labor, is promote it and promote it and promote it.
“Albanese, if he has any balls, he’ll do something for her today.
Senator Keneally was appointed to the Senate to fill a vacancy after Sam Dastyari resigned in 2018.
Mr Albanese appointed her shadow home secretary in 2019.
Now she has been selected to run for the safe seat of Fowler’s lower house in this election at the expense of Vietnamese-Australian lawyer Tu Le who actually grew up in the area.
Ms Kitching, 52 (pictured), died of a suspected heart attack on March 10
Senator Keneally’s spokeswoman said she “refute the claims and they are not true”.
The report also accused Senator Penny Wong of telling Senator Kitching “if you had kids, you could understand” during a heated exchange in parliament about the mass climate protests.
Hadley said Senator Kitching’s treatment should be fully investigated.
“We’ve had all this drama in parliament about the staff and how they’re treated by powerful men,” he said.
“Here are powerful women treating one of their colleagues in the most reprehensible way imaginable and yet the man who would be Prime Minister in May says ‘no, no, there will be no investigation “.
‘If this is the standard that Anthony Albanese accepts, he denies the right to be prime minister and to have these two women as key members of a government,’ he said, referring to Ms Wong and Mrs. Keneally.
Kristina Keneally and her husband Ben in 2019
“It’s just reprehensible stuff and I got a big crush on Kristina Keneally.”
Ms Wong reportedly made the scathing comment in 2019 after Ms Kitching claimed the party should not support students who dropped out of school that year to attend mass climate protests.
“If you had children you could understand why there is a climate emergency,” the South Australian senator reportedly told Ms Kitching.
Senator Kitching’s supporters said the comment hurt even more because she wanted children but couldn’t have any.
The report also claims that Ms Kitching, who died on Thursday, was accused of leaking information to the Liberals, was barred from the party’s tactics committee and ostracized by the leadership team.
A close supporter of the Victorian senator said the comment about her lack of children was ‘blunt’.
“The kids thing was particularly grotesque, it was just plain rude,” the friend said.
Former Labor MP Michael Danby, a close friend of Ms Kitching, claimed on Wednesday that her treatment by senior female members had crossed a line.
“It’s a fine line, people are entitled to fierce disagreements, but that was too much in my opinion, what was done crossed that fine line and people should say they’re sorry and they regret it,” Danby said.
Mr Danby hit out at the Labor right for ‘hanging’ his shortlist over his head, which he said caused the politician undue stress.
He also criticized the party’s left wing for being ‘too strong’ and claimed his friend had been punished for not agreeing with others’ ‘ideological views’.
“What a shame that these people could cause him such stress,” he said.
Wednesday’s report highlighted several instances where the senator was excluded from decision-making by senior party members.
Pictured, L-R: Labor Senators Katy Gallagher, Kristina Keneally and Penny Wong. Late Labor senator Kimberley Kitching felt ostracized by the three women, report says
Ms Kitching was also said to have been called into a meeting with Ms Keneally over her support for then Liberal Defense Minister Linda Reynolds following Brittany Higgins’ allegations.
The report went on to suggest that the treatment she received from some colleagues had an impact on her preparation for pre-screening and, ultimately, her death from shock.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday called the revelations “disheartening” while paying tribute to Ms Kitching.
‘These are very painful [allegations] and I don’t think they can just be dismissed, they obviously need to be dealt with,’ Mr Morrison said.
“These reports of his treatment are not ones that I can confirm, obviously, as leader of the Liberal Party, but they are certainly things that I would expect to be taken very seriously and addressed.
Senator Kitching is pictured with Labor Senator Kristina Keneally. Ms Kitching was reportedly called into a meeting with the senior senator over his support for then Defense Minister Linda Reynolds following Brittany Higgins’ allegations.
“The reason why she had so many friends on our side is because she was very strong on the issues of national security and sovereignty.”
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese denied Labor had a cultural problem and said the senator’s sudden death was tragic.
He said it was disrespectful to call Senators Kristina Keneally, Penny Wong and Katy Gallagher “mean girls.”
“I find it extremely disrespectful to portray strong, articulate and principled women,” he told reporters in Brisbane.
He said senior male politicians would not be portrayed in the same way.
Mr Albanese says he respected Senator Kitching and appointed her Deputy Shadow Minister when he became Leader of the Opposition.
“Out of respect for Kimberley, I think the idea that people might have had a disagreement here or there is totally unseemly,” he told the Nine Network.
“I will honor Kimberley Kitching by treating her with the respect she deserves.
“She contributed for too little time to the Labor Party and the Labor cause. His family and friends are really suffering today.
Asked if there was a cultural problem with senior women in the opposition, Mr Albanese said ‘no’.
“I’m very proud of the fact that I lead a team that is 50% female and 50% male in my shadow cabinet,” he said.
“I am proud of all members of the Labor leadership team.”
Senator Gallagher told the ABC that “many” of the claims in the article were incorrect from her point of view, but declined to discuss specifics.
“I just don’t think it’s respectful for us to enter into a comment or disagreement on (the article) at this point,” she said.
“I don’t think that’s fair.”
With the AAP
Former ALP member Michael Danby said what his late friend Kimberley Kitching endured was “nothing short of bullying” during an interview with Sky News on Wednesday.