The transition in the Speaker’s office from Peter Slipper to Anna Burke was swift, but the distance in style and demeanor was huge.
She is known by colleagues on both sides to be down-to-Earth, a dedicated local member without unnecessary frills.
Ms Burke, only the second woman to be Speaker of the House of Representatives, will never be associated with the robes and processions introduced by her image-conscious predecessor.
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There’s a story about Tony Abbott excitedly returning home from parliament and informing his wife Margie that John Howard had given him the important tactical position of Leader of the House.
He was promptly told, and I’m paraphrasing, well you’re not the leader of this house honey, take the garbage out. For someone with a problem with strong women, the Opposition Leader has spent his whole life surrounded by them.
A growing list of Government MPs have today joined a chorus of complaint about Abbott’s dealings with the acting Speaker of the House of Representatives Anna Burke. Burke threw Abbott out of Question Time yesterday, after Abbott just couldn’t bring himself to obey her order to withdraw a sledge “unreservedly.”
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