As the country waited to find out the results of yesterday’s federal election, Waleed Aly and retired Liberal politician Christoper Pyne clashed in a fiery exchange during Saturday’s episode of The Project.
Aly, who is a regular panellist on the Channel 10 program, claimed the Liberal Party is in an “ideological dilemma” and is not the same party it was under former PM Sir Robert Menzies.
‘There’s a real question about ideologically what the Liberal Party is meant to do here – who exactly it’s meant to be chasing,” Aly said, according to the Daily Mail.
‘The traditional Liberal Party as we’ve known it since Menzies would no longer exist.”
However former Defence Minister Pyne, who announced his retirement from politics in March this year, slammed Aly’s statement, describing his comments as “complete rubbish”, as he appeared as an expert panellist on the show.
“That is your perception and what you’d like it to be,” he said. “But the idea that somehow we are now this new right-wing party is completely freakishly wrong.
“If that were true, Peter Dutton would have been elected as the leader last year, and he wasn’t.”
Pyne and Aly’s on-air clash, which began with a discussion about Tony Abbott’s lost seat of Warringah, continued with the 40-year-old journalist adding that he “wasn’t saying the party has become freakishly right-wing”.
Aly added: “If it is starting to lose seats, that are blue ribbon seats that have been Liberal for as long as we know then the Liberal Party is faced with a serious ideological dilemma.”
The Coalition secured a win over the Labor Party in the election, with returned Prime Minister Scott Morrison delivering a 14-minute victory speech in Sydney just after midnight.
“I have always believed in miracles and I’m standing with the three biggest miracles in my life tonight and tonight we’ve been delivered another one,” Morrison, who was joined by his wife and two young daughters, said, to cheers from the crowd.
“How good is Australia and how good are Australians? This is the best country in the world, and it’s those Australians that we have been working for for the last five and a half years.”
Following the results, Bill Shorten announced he would step down as Labor leader with Anthony Albanese reportedly preparing to throw his hat into the ring at the next leadership ballot.
He said: “Whilst I intend to continue as the member for Maribyrnong, I will not be a candidate in the next Labor leadership ballot.”