New Shadow Comms Minister faces possible Chop

Federal opposition Leader, Mark Latham, will tackle growing disloyalty within Labor ranks at a meeting of senior MPs next week and will directly confront newly installed Shadow Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy over suspicions he has been undermining the leadership.

Latham will try to head off ‘malicious leaks’ since the disastrous election loss, saying: “In politics, disunity is death. It is obvious the party cannot afford to allow this destabilisation to continue.

“Naturally, I will be talking to my colleagues next week.”

The Labor leader looks set to discipline Senator Conroy for perceived disloyalty, but to what extent is unclear.

Relations between the pair have been strained for some time, and they argued privately in the wings at the recent Victorian ALP conference over factional deals for frontbench spots.

Senator Conroy is a Victorian senator, who was elected in April 1996, and took over only a month ago as Labor’s new Communications’ spokesperson from Lindsay Tanner.

He is the Opposition’s Deputy Senate Leader and has been a shadow minister in numerous portfolios since October 1998: Financial Services and Regulation; Finance, Small Business and Financial Services; Trade and Corporate Governance, Financial Services and Small Business; and Trade, Corporate Governance and Financial Services.