10 July 2018Hot off the Press
Former Labor opposition leader Mark Latham is considering a return to politics, but has not yet chosen a political party with which to make his comeback.
Senators Pauline Hanson (One Nation) and David Leyonhjelm (Liberal Democrats) have both been in discussions with Mr Latham, who joined Senator Leyonhjelm’s party last year but has also voiced a pre-recorded robocall message for One Nation ahead of the upcoming Longman by-election.
“I’ve not made any decision — I do get people urging me, mainly on the basis, they say, that the country’s gone crazy,” Mr Latham said.
“When you look at the political correctness, the identity politics, the anti-white racism. People so often say to me: ‘the country’s gone mad. What happened? Why has it changed so badly in the last decade? You should get in and do something’.”
Senator Hanson said that she would “be quite happy to have him on board”, but added that “[w]hether he wants to get involved in politics again, that’s up to Mark.”
Senator Leyonhjelm expressed similar sentiments, saying that Mr Latham “has to take into account the views of his wife, his kids, and whether he actually wants to return to politics.”
Mr Latham led Labor’s unsuccessful election campaign against then-Prime Minister John Howard in 2004, after which he quit politics.
Labor is adamant that it will never take Mr Latham back, with current opposition leader Bill Shorten calling Mr Latham’s robocalls, in which he attacks Labor, a “distraction” from the issues at the heart of the by-election.
Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen said Mr Latham will “go down as one of the great Labor rats of history”, and said he thinks “the Australian people would see through the charlatan that he is.”
Mr Latham has expressed interest in getting several minor parties together to challenge the Liberal and Labor parties, who are “not doing the job”.
“They’ve lost heaps of support and I’m absolutely convinced that the people are crying out to make Australian politics more competitive,” Mr Latham said.