Sunrise host Natalie Barr grills Anthony Albanese in on-air clash

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Sunrise host Natalie Barr has grilled Labor leader Anthony Albanese in an on-air clash.

Appearing on the program on Friday morning after exiting Covid isolation, the Opposition Leader was questioned about why he would not participate in a leaders' debate with Prime Minister Scott Morrison next Thursday night.

"We have to end up having two opposing people on the same program on the same day," Barr said.

"So Scott Morrison has committed to a prime time debate on Seven next Thursday. You haven't committed to that yet. Are you going to?"

Mr Albanese claimed Mr Morrison had been trying to call the shots for when the debate would be, and that he was unavailable to appear at the proposed time next Thursday.

"I've given a range of dates to Channel 7 for which I'm available. And I'm flexible about venues and those discussions need to take place between the national secretaries of the Liberal Party and the Labor Party. I'm certainly up for a debate," he said.

Sunrise host Natalie Barr grills Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese. Source: Sunrise
Sunrise host Natalie Barr grills Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese. Source: Sunrise

Barr's co-host David Koch then interjects, grilling him about why he can't attend the debate.

"So what have you got on Thursday night? What's more important?" he said.

"Well I have another appointment at that time that has been long-standing, Kochie," Mr Albanese hits back.

Barr continues to grill him, asking what dates he is free, before Mr Albanese says he is free next Friday and a range of dates the following week,

"Ok. Well we will get our people to talk to your people and ScoMo's people because I think we need a debate," she said.

Not letting up, Kochie asks again what appointment on Thursday could be more crucial than a leaders' debate.

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"What is it this Thursday you've got on? Is it a family thing, or a business thing," he asks.

"No, no, no, it's a commitment. If I make a commitment to be on your program, Kochie, have I ever broken it? No," Mr Albanese shot back.

Koch then said, "You take a while to get back to us sometimes", before Mr Albanese replied, "That's not right. That's not right. I'm desperate to be on Sunrise".

Koch then hits out again, claiming he knocked Barr back a couple of weeks for a regular spot on the program.

"We'll talk about that off-air," Barr chimes in, before adding it was really important to organise a leaders' debate for Australians to get answers.

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