Shorten blames attacks on him for weakening his leadership as Labor releases election review

Bill Shorten has claimed political attacks on him by other parties and candidates during the  federal election campaign were to blame for Labor’s election loss.

The former Opposition Leader said the May result was a “shock and surprise”, acknowledging the loss as the party launched a review of its election campaign.

In a statement, Mr Shorten said it was the attacks that affected his campaign.

“I note the review considered the relentless and unprecedented multi-million dollar political attacks on me by Palmer and the Liberals successfully tarnished public standing,” he said.

He said he placed the loss on his shoulders.

“There are many players on a team but as captain of that team I accept responsibility for the policies taken to the election,” Mr Shorten said.

However, he said it was an honour to lead the party “to make this great country even better, fairer and richer than it is.”

He said the party had a series of small victories during his time as opposition leader that included Prime Ministers Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull replaced while also winning a series of byelections.

Mr Shorten said the loss was not a landslide, thanking the “48.5 per cent of Australians who gave us their first or second preference.”

However, he said the party must “learn the lessons of defeat.”

He said the party could do things better.

“We’re the universe to grant re-runs, I would campaign with fewer messages, more greatly emphasise the jobs opportunities in renewable energies, and take a different position on franking credits,” Mr Shorten said.

He said he would still continue to contribute to his electorate.

“I’m personally committed to continue contributing in public life, serving my constituents, the people of Australia – including people with disabilities and the vulnerable – for the next 20 years,” Mr Shorten said.

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