Monday, July 07, 2008


Andrew Clennell
July 7, 2008 - 11:28AM, smh

The Treasurer Michael Costa today described as "cowards" MPs and Labor sources who tell
the media about plans to axe Premier Morris Iemma as Labor leader.

Mr Costa took a potshot at Angela D'Amore, MP for Drummoyne, who criticised the
government and Mr Iemma on the weekend, saying "that MP would do to spend a bit more
time in her own electorate. As I understand it she's been overseas at least twice in
the last couple of months and is proposing another trip".

He has also taken a shot at senior party officials, telling 2UE: "You've got to
understand there is a small group of disgruntled MPs, many of them have been passed
over for promotion or many of them don't have the ability to be promoted and they're
being agitated by Sussex Street because they're concerned about the [Labor party's
state] conference decision on electricity and their declining influence and
unfortunately people are picking it up.

" I would prefer they all name themselves and you could see who they are and I don't
think there's anyone there who is leadership material.

"Morris Iemma is the best leader. I mean, we've got some problems, there's no doubt
about that, but there is no challenge to Morris Iemma - it's an absolute nonsense.

"So I just tell all those cowards that are running to the press, they ought to stand up
and put their hand up and say look, vote for me for leader, I'm sure most of them would
be laughed at."

Mr Costa's comments come as speculation mounts of a plot within months to install
either Carmel Tebbutt, Nathan Rees or John Watkins as premier in the wake of disastrous
poll results for Mr Iemma.

Andrew Clennell is the Herald's State Political Editor