Mark Latham “resurfaced” on Wednesday night for the first time since
his resignation – through the medium of his alter-ego Michael Cooney.

Latham
has disappeared off the radar since his resignation, having no contact
with his old staff and colleagues – even Kim Beazley says he hasn’t
spoken to his predecessor since Latham’s resignation.

But at a
farewell last night for his former deputy chief of staff Simon Banks,
Latham sent a generous message which was read out by Cooney, his former
policy adviser as Opposition Leader and chief of staff when he was
shadow treasurer. The fact Cooney read out the message raised more than
a few eyebrows as it’s commonly thought Cooney wanted Banks’s job and
was disappointed when he missed out after the 2003 leadership change.

Banks
was Simon Crean’s deputy, and (for a short while Chief of Staff) and
was kept on by Latham, together with Crean’s COS Mike Richards. Banks
is heading overseas, while Cooney, in a move that has surprised many in
the Gallery and the ALP who predicted his very close relationship with
Latham would see him the first to be sacked after the leadership
change, has actually become the only member of Latham’s pre-election
staff to be retained by Beazley.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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