Peter Dutton accused 7.30 host Sarah Ferguson of ‘left-wing analysis’ during an at times tense interview on the ABC current affairs program on Wednesday.
Ferguson had asked the Opposition Leader, following the decision to wave through the revised stage 3 tax cuts package, about his position in the opinion polls that show him behind Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
‘I guess I’m saying it has been a difficult first week for you here. Do you feel also that your political momentum is slipping away?’ Ferguson put to Mr Dutton.
He snapped back at the question.
‘I just think it’s such an ABC perspective, if I might say. All the culture that’s so far left within the ABC just seems to permeate through many questions when you go on to a program like this,’ he replied.
Peter Dutton (right) accused 7.30 host Sarah Ferguson (left) of ‘left-wing analysis’ during an at times tense interview on the ABC current affairs program on Wednesday
‘I don’t think other journalists are putting that analysis there, argument from the Guardian and some of the other online left-wing publications.’
Mr Dutton returned to the question of his performance, challenging Ferguson by pointing out ‘we’re 52/48 in Newspoll at the moment’.
When she said the Coalition should be leading after the Albanese government’s struggles with the cost of living and broken election promise on the tax cuts, he again hit back.
‘We have gone up something like 20 points in the last 12 months, which is not something that you would acknowledge in this program but that is the reality.’
Ferguson had asked the Opposition Leader, following the decision to wave through the revised stage 3 tax cuts package, about his position in the opinion polls that show him behind the PM
Earlier, Ferguson had asked him why he had asked the press gallery, ‘Have you found me to be a thug?’
‘That is an astonishing question for an opposition leader to ask the press, isn’t it?’ she asked.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Mr Dutton had laughed off Malcolm Turnbull’s description of him as a ‘thug’ in the ABC documentary Nemesis.
‘Well, I was asked a question by a journalist who I’ve known for many, many years, to respond to that comment and I asked the journalist, who knows me well, had she ever found me to be a person of that character,’ Mr Dutton responded to Ferguson.
When it was suggested his ‘political momentum [was] slipping away’, Mr Dutton accused Ferguson of bias and taking cues from left-wing online publications like the Guardian
‘Of course she hasn’t because it was a fabrication and a self-serving comment.’
‘I think the Australian public has moved on from that era. I lead an opposition party more united than any in recent political history, on either side of politics.’
Mr Dutton had declined to participate in Nemesis, which retraces the Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison Coalition governments.