Bob Hawke and Bill Shorten. Picture: Supplied
Bob Hawke and Bill Shorten. Picture: Supplied

Shorten's awkward question from Deb Knight on Hawke

BILL Shorten faced an uncomfortable question on the Today Show where Deborah Knight asked him why people didn't like him as much as Bob Hawke, as he said he was more eager to win the election than ever following his death.

His comments come after Tony Abbott was slammed for his tribute to Mr Hawke following the Labor great's death on Thursday evening.

Mr Hawke passed away at his home, aged 89. 

"I want to do it for Bob," Mr Shorten said this morning on Channel 9.

"I don't want to let his memory down."

Bob Hawke and Bill Shorten recreated an old photograph on Monday, just days before the legendary leader died.
Bob Hawke and Bill Shorten recreated an old photograph on Monday, just days before the legendary leader died.

The Labor leader this morning said Mr Hawke was one of his political heroes who inspired him to pursue a career in politics when he was a Year 11 student.

Describing his last meeting with Mr Hawke, Mr Shorten said the Labor legend had talked to him about politics and given him a "tremendous sense of warmth and confidence".

"I feel really privileged that I was able to see him so recently," Mr Shorten said.

In a statement published last night, Mr Abbott wrote Mr Hawke had a "Labor heart, but a Liberal head", causing outrage among many Australians.

"Bob Hawke was a great prime minister. In my judgment, he was Labor's greatest prime minister," Mr Abbott wrote.

"But his key achievements - financial deregulation, tariffs cuts, and the beginnings of privatisation - went against the Labor grain, as Labor's more recent policy direction shows.

"You might almost say he had a Labor heart, but a Liberal head.

Former Hawke minister Susan Ryan hit back on ABC News last night, saying he "loved the Labor movement" and there was "nothing Liberal about Bob".

Mr Hawke's death will likely overshadow Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten's campaigning on election eve.

It comes as new polling shows the federal election race has tightened. A YouGov Galaxy poll has shown the PM has had an election bounce but Labor is still ahead. 



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