September 14, 2013
Russell Crowe backs Anthony Albanese to lead ALP by Linda Silmalis
It is the endorsement Kevin Rudd would have killed for – love from a Hollywood star.
But Russell Crowe has given his backing to Labor would-be leader Anthony Albanese in his battle with Bill Shorten.
Crowe invited Albanese to his ANZ stadium box on Friday to watch his Rabbitohs win.
“He wished me the best of luck,” Mr Albanese said ahead of tomorrow’s ALP national executive meeting, to shape a voting process including a caucus vote and members’ ballot.
Mr Albanese, who is widely tipped to win the rank-and-file vote, said he was the best man for the job given his “proven record” as a minister and consultative approach “even with people who disagree with me”.
The new leadership process hasn’t soothed Labor’s tensions: Mr Shorten’s Right faction was yesterday accused of accessing a confidential ALP database of member phone numbers to canvass support.
A senior Right source confirmed they made calls to recruit potential Shorten volun-teers for the campaign.
The source said the numbers came from the Centre Unity (right) faction’s own phone list of about 1000 members who had “at some stage attended an ALP dinner or signed up for the magazine”.
The Right accused the Left of also using a phone list to canvass for Mr Albanese.
NSW general secretary Jamie Clements said neither camp had yet been granted access to the party’s member lists.
Mr Albanese said he supported the union movement, which played an important role ensuring fairness in the workplace, but that Labor also needed to “reach out” to small business and the private sector more than in recent years.