Federal Labor frontbencher Mark Dreyfus says his former shadow cabinet colleague Joel Fitzgibbon is out of touch with ALP members and voters and represented the views of “only a handful” of people within the Labor Party on the issue of climate change.
Mr Dreyfus, who has publicly clashed with Mr Fitzgibbon for months on the issue, was part of a heated federal Labor shadow cabinet meeting that triggered the veteran MP’s resignation from his resources portfolio.
“I accept that Joel has strongly held views on climate. I just disagree with him, and a large majority of the Australian Labor Party and I’d suggest the Australian community also disagree with his strongly held views,” Mr Dreyfus told ABC radio on Monday.
Mr Dreyfus would not be drawn on reports on Tuesday that Mr Fitzgibbon told him to “shut up you idiot” during the heated meeting on Monday night, which several shadow cabinet members have told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald was fiery and at times explosive.