Anthony Albanese denied he knew Adem Somyurek, the man at the centre of the Victorian Labor branch stacking scandal, on sunrise this morning, saying he knew nothing about the man’s activities until the story broke on the Channel 9’s 60 Minutes.
“I knew nothing about it. I was told there was going to be something on 60 Minutes, I watched the show.”
“I met Adem Somyurek I think once in my life, I have probably been in the same room as him a few times. I’m not familiar with him.”
The Federal opposition leader told Sunrise’s Samantha Armytage that texts sent by Anthony Byrne using derogatory language about women and ethnic minorities were “inappropriate” but that voters aren’t interested in the scandal.
“But when I am at the childcare centre here in Jindabyne this morning, or when I am meeting with small business in Thredbo with Kristy McBain, guess what? They will be talking about jobs, talking about the economy and talking about the withdrawal of support. They’re not really interest in text messages between two individuals.”
“Australians are focused on what is happening to them and that is my focus as well.”
Albanese defended Anthony Byrne’s character, saying that Andrew Hastie, the Liberal chair of the Parlimentary Intelligence Committee on which Byrne serves, gave Byrne a “glowing” character reference.