The prime minister has made time for Rupert Murdoch for a private dinner – but there’s still doubt about whether he can meet with top bankers.
He apparently has no time to meet the world’s top bankers, but Tony Abbott made space in his busy international schedule for Rupert Murdoch.
The prime minister ruffled feathers on his US trip amid reports he’d cancelled long-planned meetings with US treasury secretary Jack Lew, International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde and World Bank president Jim Yong Kim.
But he did not squander an opportunity for a private dinner with the News Corp media mogul, popping into Murdoch’s Central Park apartment in New York on Tuesday (local time), accompanied by his chief-of-staff Peta Credlin.
That meeting did not impress billionaire MP Clive Palmer, a vocal critic of Mr Murdoch’s papers.
“Of course @TonyAbbottMHR had to go & cosy up with his American master @rupertmurdoch in New York,” the Fairfax MP tweeted.
Mr Abbott’s office said he will meet Mr Lew but planned talks with Ms Lagarde and Jim Yong Kim remain in doubt due to a busy schedule.
“The prime minister’s program is not yet final – a number of meetings may be included if scheduling permits,” a spokeswoman said in a statement.
Mr Abbott met with Ms Lagarde in February on her visit to Australia and will get another opportunity at the G20 leaders’ summit in Brisbane in November.