Anthony Albanese has carefully dodged questions about Tanya Plibersek’s claims that she would have been elected as Labor leader had she thrown in her hat.
The then deputy Labor leader considered running for the top job in May 2019.
It came after the Labor Party lost the federal election to Scott Morrison and the party was desperate to replace its leader Bill Shorten.
Ms Plibersek withdrew from the race before Anthony Albanese was voted into the leadership role and eventually became Prime Minister in May 2022.
Ms Plibersek said she was confident she would have won the leadership challenge and revealed on Saturday that the decision was made so she could support her daughter who had been abused by her ex-boyfriend.
The prime minister was questioned later on Saturday about Ms Plibersek’s leadership claims, but Mr Albanese refused to address the issue.
“Tanya Plibersek is doing a great job as environment minister. She’s been a long time friend of mine,” Mr Albanese told reporters while campaigning in Melbourne’s Aston voters.
“I was elected unopposed after the 2019 election and I won in 2022 and I’m very proud of the great team I have.”
Tanya Plibersek has revealed how she turned down the chance to become Labor leader so she could support her daughter who was abused by her boyfriend
Anthony Albanese carefully dodged questions about Tanya Plibersek’s claims that she would have been elected Labor leader had she thrown her hat in the ring
Ms Plibersek’s daughter, Anna, revealed that her mother made the choice with her in mind at the time.
Anna had been abused by her then-boyfriend for years and was preparing to take him to court.
Ms Plibersek said she wanted to support her daughter knowing she would be called as a witness in the court proceedings. reported in Nine Newspapers’ Good weekend supplement.
“And the thought of not being able to be there for her because of it was just too much,” Ms Plibersek said.
Anna had been abused by her then-boyfriend since the beginning of their relationship as teenagers.
She was about 18 years old when her mother worked as a deputy Labor leader and was in the running for the top job in 2019.
Anna was subjected to violent and controlling behavior, severe sexual assault and financial abuse.
She kept the abuse a secret from her family during the early days when she was still in her mid-teens.
Anna lost weight, withdrew from her family and friends, became emotionally distant, slept through the day and wandered around the house at night.
“I’ve been through pretty much every kind of abuse you can think of,” she said.
Anna eventually came forward and broke her silence with her family before her abusive then-boyfriend was taken to court.
He was convicted of assault and it was revealed that he was convicted of serious crimes against other girls, but he never went to prison.
Anna revealed that the trial had been a traumatic experience for her as she spent four days on the witness stand.
Ms Plibersek revealed she suffered a traumatic family incident during the leadership vote and chose to stay with her daughter Anna (pictured with Anna, left, Louis, husband Michael Coutts-Trotter, and Joseph, right)
Ms Plibersek said she was devastated when she learned about the things that had happened to her daughter
Her friends and parents were also called to testify.
Anna revealed that one of the hardest moments during the ordeal was watching her father Michael Coutts-Trotter cry.
She said her mother cried all the time, when she was sad or happy, but her father had never cried in front of her.
Anna said she believed her mother would have made a great Labor leader if she hadn’t pulled out of the fight for the top job in 2019.
Ms Plibersek told the publication: ‘I’m pretty sure if I had run I would have won’.
She added that she was devastated when she learned about the things done to her daughter.
“You wonder if you could or should have done more to protect your child,” she said.
Anna joined a group of friends in 2021 to create the non-profit group The Survivor Hub.
The organization provides support to survivors through social media, online and face-to-face meetings.
Ms Plibersek took to Twitter to support her daughter after sharing her survival story with Channel Nine newspaper.
“Like all parents, her dad and I were devastated when we found out,” she said.
“We know this is a story that is so common in Australia. We know the statistics about one in five Australian women who have experienced sexual assault since the age of 15.
“Those statistics are just devastating.”
Ms. Plibersek shared her story of her leadership mood and life in politics in the forthcoming book ‘Tanya Plibersek: On Her Own Terms’.
The book is written by Margaret Simons and will be published on March 7.