Former foreign minister Julie Bishop (main picture) has defended her claims that she could have beaten Bill Shorten at the coming election if she and not Scott Morrison had succeeded Malcolm Turnbull.
“People have been trying to dismiss me as a lightweight since I made my comments,” Ms Bishop said.
“My critics try to give the impression I am just a caricature of myself, a person who has no policy or political gravitas and is defined more by my fashion and footwear – wonderful though they always are – than what I have achieved or would have achieved as prime minister.
“If I were PM now I’d be a shoe-in against Bill Shorten come the election. I am much more instep….. I mean in step, with the people of Australia than Mr Shorten is.
“As foreign minister I showed how I could handle the pressure. I worked well under the pumps….. I mean under the pump.
“I may seem all sweetness and light on the surface but I am a hard-nosed operator when I have to be and I know how to wield a stiletto.
“Worst of all, my critics try to make out I am out of touch because I come from a family with extensive property holdings and a privileged background.
“That’s so far from the truth because I was brought up in flats. We just couldn’t afford high heels.
“I stand by my comments and I am leaving politics standing tall, notably because of the fabulous Jimmy Choos I’ve got on at the moment. Aren’t they glorious?
“Regardless, it is all now water under the bridge and it is time for heeling…..I mean healing.
“I look forward to my life after politics. Politics is not my sole interest in life…..I mean my soul interest in life.
“Hang on, I was right the first time. Politics is not my sole interest in life, so I look forward to whatever I do next,” Ms Bishop said.
Fellow member of the West Australian branch of the Liberal Party, Senator Mathias Cormann (pictured), dismissed Ms Bishop’s criticisms of his alleged involvement in damaging her chances in the leadership ballot last August.
“You have to remember that there were 85 votes up for grabs in the party room back in August. Or was it 58?” Senator Cormann said.
“Anyway, for Julie to win she would have needed a majority of those votes and a majority means 15% plus one. Or is it 150% plus ten?
“Anyway, the votes were just not there for Julie on the day. I should know because I was the numbers man for Peter Dutton who in the end didn’t win against Scott Morrison who got 45 votes. Or was it 54?
“Anyway, I made sure Peter had a majority of votes in the party room. But, unfortunately as we all know, you are not allowed to vote for yourself in these ballots, so I didn’t vote for myself – or Peter for that matter just to be sure – and I did that even though my name wasn’t even on the ballot.
“That’s the simple answer,” Senator Cormann said.