Peta Credlin has always been a somewhat controversial figure in politics, but she let loose on live TV, swearing at her Sky News colleagues when they began speculating on the future leadership of the Liberal National Party.
Credlin appeared on Paul Murray Live alongside Murray, Sky News political reporter Laura Jayes, and Nicholas Reece, who served as director of strategy during Julia Gillard’s term as prime minister.
It started when Jayes began speculating about the possibility of immigration minister Peter Dutton becoming prime minister.
“I’ve spoken to at least a dozen people about this today and they say absolutely—” Jayes was saying when Credlin jumped in.
“Can I just be really frank here?” Credlin said, pointing out her co-panellists in turn. “Journos, journos, journos and a Labor outsider.
“No one is going to tell you in the Liberal Party what is really going on. They are more likely, the conservatives, to tell me and I think you are all p*** and wind.”
Credlin tried to continue speaking, reminding everyone just how big an issue they were discussing, but Murray cut her off.
“Thank you. Let’s take a break here on Paul Murray Live. More in a sec,” Murray said, staring stone-faced at the camera as he took a sip from his mug.
Credlin trailed off, but still looked furious, tapping her pencil against the desk as the commercial break took over.
Earlier this week, while attending an event in Sydney, Dutton was asked if he had leadership ambitions.
“You don’t sign up to play for the Wallabies or the Socceroos or for the Australian cabinet to not be leader or have the opportunity to become leader one day,” Dutton pointed out. But he was quick to confirm that he was loyal to Malcolm Turnbull.
“I think recent history has demonstrated that anybody that would seek to burst their way into leadership now or try to knock off the leader would be dead before they got out of first base,” Dutton said.
“Loyalty is the new black … my view is it’s in the best interests of our party to have a stability of leadership at the moment because ultimately it will be good for our country, and then if that’s rewarded at some point, or if you are foolish because of that and the opportunity passes you by, then so be it.”
Credlin suffered a fall from grace when the 2015 leadership spill ousted Tony Abbott from his position as prime minister, and transferred power over to Malcolm Turnbull. Credlin, who had been serving as chief of staff to Abbott, went on to become a political commentator for various outlets, including Sky News.
You can see a video of the live encounter below.