Federal Politics

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Albanese slams 'grubby backroom deals'

THE senior Labor cabinet minister Anthony Albanese has opened fire on the culture of ''grubby and self-indulgent'' factional warfare in the ALP, slamming ''backroom deals'' and calling for urgent party reform.

Mr Albanese's frustrations erupted yesterday following the defeat of Labor minister Penny Wong on the Senate ticket in favour of one of the faceless men who helped Julia Gillard to the prime ministership in 2010.

The South Australian Senator and right-faction powerbroker Don Farrell defeated Senator Wong - considered one of the government's stand-out performers - in a ballot yesterday by 112 votes to 83 with Ms Wong to be listed second on the South Australian Senate ballot paper at the next federal election.

Following the result, Mr Albanese, a left-faction leader, let fly at ''union powerbrokers'' saying the party was in need of reform.

Accusing his party of ignoring the electorate in favour of its own ructions, Mr Albanese said he would demand the ALP national executive overturn the decision and promote Senator Wong to the No.1 spot.

He labelled the move as ''gross self-indulgent rubbish'' taken by ''those who should care more about the party and less about themselves''.

''This defies common sense,'' Mr Albanese said. ''Modern Labor cannot take decisions as if our internal processes are the end game and ignore the electorate.

''This reinforces the need for some of the union powerbrokers to have a good look at themselves and the party to get serious about reform.''

Ms Gillard addressed the party faithful at the branch's annual state conference just hours before SA Labor's dominant Right faction made good on a promise to install Senator Farrell in the top spot.