A most curious ensemble. Whenever there’s political intrigue, The Daily Telegraph sends photographers to Kingston at dinnertime to pap who’s at the seven or eight restaurants that political types go to in Canberra.

That’s what the paper did on Wednesday night, with Craig Greenhill taking this curious picture, which appeared today on page 5. That’s Tony Abbott’s well-liked deputy chief of staff Andrew Hirst sitting next to Bill Shorten, along with ABC political journo Annabel Crabb and the Tele’s Sam Maiden, papped by her own paper. Obscured behind Crabb on the right is Ryan Liddell, Shorten’s top media adviser.

It’s a curious ensemble, but one that came together, Crikey is assured, entirely accidentally. Crabb and Maiden had organised a catch-up with Hirst at the East Hotel, perhaps curious as to his next move. Shorten and his staff, meanwhile, had been seeing off his deputy chief of staff Sarah Adams at the Ox Eatery next door. Seeing Crabb and Maiden, Shorten and his press sec briefly sat down to chat, when the Tele’s snapper happened to be walking past. — Myriam Robin

Peter Fray

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