Federal Government minister Christopher Pyne’s comments during an after-party in Sydney have landed him – and the rest of the Liberal Party – in hot water from most sections of the political spectrum.
Reportedly released to far-right commentator Andrew Bolt, the recording of the comments were taken in the company of some of the other left-leaning members of the Liberal Party.
What got most people heckled was Christopher Pyne’s boasting about the early introduction of same-sex marriage.
“Friends, we are in the winner’s circle but we have to deliver a couple of things and one of those we’ve got to deliver before too long is marriage equality in this country.
“We’re going to get it. I think it might even be sooner than everyone thinks.”
The Prime Minister has distanced himself from the comments made by Christopher Pyne, that same-sex marriage would be introduced “sooner than everyone thinks.”
Mr Turnbull said gay marriage would only be law once the Australian public had voted on the issue.
“As far as the same sex marriage issue, our policy is very clear, it has not changed, we have no plans to change it,” he said.
As one can these days reasonably expect, former prime minister Tony Abbott was quick off the mark with the boot, saying Mr Pyne’s comments appeared to be evidence that the Defence Minister had been plotting behind his back.
“This appears to be the confession that he has made to his close colleagues in the Left faction,” Mr Abbott told radio 2GB.
“Christopher Pyne wasn’t just a member of my cabinet, he was actually in the leadership team and it’s important that you show loyalty.
“But if he’s to be believed on Friday night, that loyalty was never there which is incredibly disappointing.”
Meanwhile Tweeting from Adelaide, Labor leader Bill Shorten kept his comments brief:
“Shame on Turnbull and Pyne. They play games whilst Australians wait for marriage equality. Get out of the way.”
But the Greens see hope
The Greens said Christopher Pyne’s comments about marriage equality over the weekend show just how impatient many members of the Coalition are for marriage equality to be achieved now.
“It’s staggering that Malcolm Turnbull is publicly standing by Tony Abbott’s plebiscite, meanwhile one of his senior ministers says equality will happen ‘sooner than everyone thinks,’ said Senator Janet Rice, the Greens’ spokesperson on LGBTIQ issues.
“Australian couples shouldn’t be forced to keep waiting for their love to be recognised.
“The Coalition [members] are playing games with people’s lives. Mr Turnbull needs to stand up to the dinosaurs in his party and allow a free vote in parliament now.’
Comment below to have your say on this story.
If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at email@example.com.
Sign up to the Government News newsletter