Sky News presenter Chris Kenny has reignited tensions with colleague and on-air rival Peta Credlin, revealing she refused to sit down with him for a documentary about the Liberal party.
Credlin is a glaring no-show in the two-part ‘Liberals in Power’ documentary hosted by Kenny, which goes to air on Sky News Australia this week.
The documentary examines the rise and fall of the Liberals during its nine years in government, from the high of Tony Abbott’s 2013 election win to the humiliating lows of its 2022 defeat to Anthony Albanese.
Credlin had a front row seat to what happened inside the party room behind closed doors as the long-time chief of staff to former opposition leader and prime minister Mr Abbott.
She and Kenny – also a one-time Liberal senior advisor – already have a frosty relationship after they recently clashed on-air over the failed Indigenous Voice to Parliament.
Kenny tried to play down the pair’s fractured relationship when he was grilled by 2GB broadcaster Ben Fordham during an often fiery interview on Monday morning.
Sky News presenter Peta Credlin (pictured) declined to be part of the ‘Liberals in Power’ documentary hosted by colleague Chris Kenny
Kenny said: ‘You have to ask Peta why she didn’t she didn’t want to chat with me, I would have been happy to chat with her.’
Fordham asked Kenny whether he had asked Credlin to be involved and got a blunt response.
‘Yes. You’ll have to talk to her as to why she’s not in the documentary,’ Kenny said.
Fordham replied: ‘Well I’m asking you Chris Kenny, you’re the one in the studio.’
An exasperated Kenny replied: ‘Sure. I would love to talk to everyone involved in this and I gave them all an opportunity.
‘Those who declined would have to share their reasons themselves. But Peta and I will have to chat about that another time.’
Fordham asked whether their fiery on-air clashes about the Voice played a factor in Credlin’s refusal to participate after both used their prime-time TV slots to slam each other.
The pair made headlines when Kenny accused Credlin other of spreading ‘nonsense’ and ‘telling lies’ about the foundation document for the proposed Voice to Parliament.
They clashed again on-air weeks later on the night of the failed Voice referendum. Kenny denied the clashes played a role: ‘I wouldn’t think so. You’d have to ask her.
‘Some people, when they’ve been involved in politics don’t want to go back and talk about what’s happened in the past so I understand that.’
‘Peta and I get along fine professionally. We did differ over the Voice but we actually worked together in Malcolm Turnbull’s office if you can believe that.’
The documentary hosted by Sky New host Chris Kenny (pictured) features some glaring no-shows who declined to be interviewed
Peta Credlin (right) was Tony Abbott’s chief of staff for seven years. She’s pictured in parliament with her then-boss (far left) in 2012
Kenny and Credlin worked together as senior advisors for Mr Turnbull for two years from 2007.
Credlin became Mr Abbott’s chief in staff in 2009 and resigned in 2016 after he lost a leadership challenge against Mr Turnbull.
Kenny said Credlin’s role within the government- both the positive and negative impacts – will addressed by other leading Liberals figures who agreed to speak.
Other notable figures who declined to be interviewed for the documentary include Mr Abbott and another former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, despite Kenny once being his chief of staff.
‘I know him (Turnbull) very well but he doesn’t speak to me or to Sky News Australia anymore I’m afraid,’ Kenny said.
Kenny also joked that Mr Turnbull blamed him and Credlin for his downfall in 2018.
Chris Kenny insists his professional relationship with Peta Credlin (pictured) is fine, despite the pair attacking each other over the Voice
One former PM who did agree to sit down with Kenny was Scott Morrison, who will make a ‘surprising’ admission about the secret ministries saga where he swore himself into five portfolios.
‘I think his answer will surprise a lot of people as he’s not renowned for being apologetic or admitting failures but Scott Morrison admits it was the wrong thing to do and he regrets it,’ Kenny said.
‘There’s no doubt he regrets those secret ministries.’
Kenny also speaks to one time deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce about the infamous ‘bonk ban’ enforced by then-PM Turnbull after Joyce’s relationship with former staffer Vikki Campion was exposed
Joyce, who married Campion on Sunday lifted the lid on the 2018 saga. He said he believed that the bonk ban was ‘terminal’ to Turnbull’s leadership and led to his demise in a leadership challenge against Morrison months later.
Sky News was approached for comment.
Part one of Liberals in Power airs on Sky News Australia at 8pm on Monday night following by part two on Tuesday night.