CANBERRA - Australia's government accused a tabloid paper in Rupert Murdoch's media empire on Monday of campaigning for "regime change", as lawmakers weigh up a possible review of media laws in the wake of the worsening UK phone hacking scandal.
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, who for months has bristled at the minority government's treatment by Murdoch papers, accused the company's Daily Telegraph tabloid of bias and trying to bring down ruling Labor, which relies on backing from Green and independent lawmakers to stay in power.
"It's decided it wants to have an election. Ignore the fact that we had an election nine or 10 months ago. Ignore the fact the Australian people put in place a parliament with a minority government," an exasperated Conroy told Australian radio.
"It has demanded that it knows best and that people should just fall into line with what the Daily Telegraph (says). It is just running a campaign on regime change," he said.
Conroy's comments follow similar accusations by Treasurer and Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan last week, as the Australian-born Murdoch flew to London to tackle the political storm over phone hacking at the News of the World paper.