Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s attempt to sell the Federal Budget was overshadowed by more questions about embattled MP Craig Thomson.

Meanwhile, there’s speculation that a Liberal figurehead may be planning a surprise return.

Emilie Gramenz reports.


It was meant to be the Federal Budget that topped the agenda but once again the spotlight is on Craig Thomson.

The troubled backbencher is now under fire for not declaring the details of his legal fees to Parliament until yesterday.

Thomson declared the New South Wales ALP footed the bill for his legal team until he was suspended from the party last month.

Tony Abbott, Opposition Leader: “The more we learn about this, the more we understand that the Labour party has essentially been running a protection racket for Craig Thomson from the word go.”

The Prime Minister says it’s a matter for the New South Wales branch of her party.

Julia Gillard, Prime Minister: “Members of parliament should be declaring, appropriately, things on time, not waiting and declaring late.”

And the Opposition has been deflecting rumours of a comeback from Howard cabinet minister Peter Costello.

Party members and Costello himself have denied talk of a return.

But Abbott doesn’t seem too fazed.

Tony Abbott, Opposition Leader: “I have to say I miss him from the Parliament, our country misses him.”

Now the attention turns to the Opposition’s Budget Reply tonight.

Emilie Gramenz, QUT News.