Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

Josh Frydenberg breaks silence on political comeback rumours amid Liberal Party criticism

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun8,2024
Former treasurer Josh Frydenberg says he is not rushing back into politics and supports the candidate his party has chosen to contest his former Melbourne seat, after controversy swirled around the Liberal Party and its treatment of female candidates.
Last week, the ABC reported that Frydenberg was mulling a return to politics after draft redistribution changes shifted the margins of his old electorate, making Kooyong more winnable for the Liberals.

But the Liberal Party had already picked a candidate to contest the seat: 31-year-old Amelia Hamer was pre-selected for the Melbourne seat in late March.

The Liberal Party had already been under scrutiny for its lack of female parliamentarians and some labelled the push for Frydenberg to return as “ludicrous”.

Charlotte Mortlock, from the Hilma’s Network, which supports women for Liberal Party pre-selection, said such a move would set a precedent.

Mortlock said “turfing out a woman” because another person had “changed his mind” was “entirely unacceptable”.

“What are the optics of this? What are we going to say? ‘Hey pussy cat, thanks for quitting your job six months ago, that was really impressive, well paid, good job, and having no income for six months, and being on the ground and working with the constituents, getting your name … up. But no, sorry someone else has had a change of heart and … move out of the way,'” she told ABC News.

Frydenberg had supporters: former cabinet colleague Karen Andrews said he would be an “absolute asset to the team” at the next election.
Opposition finance spokesperson Jane Hume said Frydenberg returning “would be a crazy thing to do”.
“I know that there’s lots of people out there that would love to see Josh’s return, but Josh is a great supporter of women in Parliament, always has been, and I know he’s doing right by Amelia Hamer,” she said.
Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said talk of his potential return showed the Liberal Party was searching for a new leader.

“They’re obviously desperately trying to find someone else other than Peter Dutton,” she said.

On Monday, Frydenberg addressed the rumours of his political comeback, saying he was not “rushing back to politics”.
“My position on contesting the next election remains unchanged. I will continue to support the Liberal Party and our local candidate Amelia Hamer,” he posted on X.
At a press conference in Melbourne, Hamer said she had reached out to Josh Frydenberg to thank him for his support.
“I am extremely grateful for Josh’s unwavering support for my campaign here in Kooyong.
“I don’t think the people of Kooyong are particularly interested in the internal politics of the Liberal Party, and you know what? I’m not interested in it either.”

– With additional reporting by the Australian Associated Press.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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