Bill Shorten rejects Paris posting, quizzes whether Nine chairmanship vacant as Peter Costello faces resignation calls over Darren Wick fallout

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Bill Shorten has dismissed speculation he will leave Canberra to take up a diplomatic post as Australia’s ambassador to France, instead asking if the chairmanship of Nine Entertainment was vacant.

Appearing on the Today show alongside opposition leader Peter Dutton, Shorten was asked if he would be leaving for Paris, but he returned the question to host Sarah Abo after Nine chairman Peter Costello appeared to knock over a reporter in Canberra, fuelling speculation he would resign.

“Oh no. That rumour was not true,” Shorten said.

“But is there a vacancy at Channel 9? Is there a chairman vacancy at Channel 9?”

On Thursday, footage emerged that appears to show Costello shoving The Australian reporter Liam Mendes to the ground as the broadcaster’s handling of former Nine News director Darren Wick, who is accused of lewd and drunken behaviour, continues.

The video shows Mendes repeatedly asking Costello questions before the Nine chair picks up speed and appears to shoulder-slam into the reporter, causing him to fall to the ground.

Mr. Costello stares at Mr. Mendes lying on the ground before walking away without offering to help.

The former treasurer and current chairman of Nine denied knocking over Mr Mendes, claiming the reporter tripped over an advertising poster as he walked backwards.

When asked what he thought about the incident at Canberra Airport, Shorten said he was focused on his portfolio duties.

“I don’t know. I guess we’ll leave it to others to sort that out. I don’t know what happened there,” Mr Shorten said.

“I will focus on my day job… the NDIS.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is believed to have previously offered Mr Shorten the post of High Commissioner to the UK; however, the NDIS minister turned down the post in London.

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