The federal Liberal Party has denied it is implementing a strategy for Prime Minister Scott Morrison to emulate his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern in the hope of replicating her resounding election win when Australians next go to the polls.
Rumours that the PM had begun to subtly alter his personal image swept Canberra this week in the wake of the NZ election earlier this month in which Ardern’s Labour Party government was convincingly re-elected.
Speaking at a news conference in Brisbane where he was campaigning in the Queensland election for state LNP leader Deb Frecklington, Mr Morrison denied he was altering his image in any way (main picture).
He snapped at a reporter whose question suggested the PM was planning to copy Ms Ardern in both style and substance.
“I cun dusmuss thut untirely,” Mr Morrison said before declaring he was “calling un und” to the news conference.
He was later heard asking Mrs Frecklington if Queensland contained an active volcanoes and how many mosques were located in Brisbane and how far apart they were.
In a move that may deepen concerns about his “me-too” approach to opposition, federal Labor Party leader Anthony Albanese (pictured) has also been accused of reshaping his image after Ms Ardern’s landslide victory and has so far refused to capitalise on the rumours about Mr Morrison’s alleged change of image.
A Labor spokesperson denied Mr Albanese was also attempting to copy Ms Arden’s style and image, saying: “Everyone knows Albo had his teeth fixed a few years back. People are mistaken if they think he’s had more work.”