Politics

“You’re A King Rat”: Mark Latham Sledged By Former Labor Senator On Live TV

"You were once on the path to greatness. I don’t know what happened."

Former Labor senator and current Sky News commentator Graham Richardson has slammed his party’s one-time leader Mark Latham, calling him a “king rat” and a “shyster” during a fiery television exchange.

Both men were guests on Monday night’s episode of Paul Murray Live. So right away, you know the quality of the debate is going to be high.

Richardson was extremely upset by Latham’s recent cameo in a One Nation robocall campaign, in which he urged voters not to support Labor during the upcoming Longman by-election.

“I’m Mark Latham, former Labor Party leader,” Latham says during the recording, which was authorised by One Nation leader Pauline Hanson. “I’ve had personal experience with Bill Shorten’s dishonesty. He just lies and lies and lies.

“Don’t reward Shorten’s dishonesty, don’t vote Labor. Please support minor parties and independents to shake up the system and put some honest politics back into Canberra.”

In response to the robocall campaign, Richardson accused Latham of turning on “the party that built you, the party that made you”, and said that his former supporters would be “rolling in their graves”.

“It’s a tragedy and it’s sad, Mark,” he added. “You were once on the path to greatness. I don’t know what happened.”

Latham shot back by bringing up Richardson’s colourful past, including his former relationships with former property developer and current convicted murderer Ron Medich and NSW Labor MP Eddie Obeid.

“I’m not taking lectures from you,” said Latham. “Don’t you tell me what’s said.”

“When it comes to being a shyster, don’t you ever lecture me on personal behaviour,” replied Richardson. “You’re not just a rat, You’re a king rat.”

Say what you will about Graham Richardson, but “king rat” is an A+ burn.

There has been speculation that Latham might run as a One Nation candidate, despite the fact that he recently joined the Liberal Democrats. Pauline Hanson told Murray last night that she has not yet made Latham a formal invitation to join her party, although she did say it would be “fantastic” to have him with her on the floor of parliament.

“I have a lot of time for Mark Latham and his views, so do a lot of people in Australia,” she said. “I think some of Mark’s knowledge and experience and willing to speak against political correctness is much needed.”

But not everyone is convinced that Latham would be the boon that Hanson seems to think.