Australian prime minister admonishes absent colleagues

AP News
Posted: Sep 01, 2016 9:23 PM

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia's prime minister says he "read the Riot Act" to lawmakers who caused the government to lose votes in Parliament by sneaking out early.

The government lost three votes in the House of Representatives late Thursday because the absence of several government lawmakers gave the opposition Labor Party a majority.

It was a humiliating blow to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's promise of a stable government in the first week Parliament has met since a July election left his conservative coalition with a single-seat majority.

Turnbull told Melbourne Radio 3AW on Friday that it was a wakeup call to the lawmakers including three ministers who left Parliament House early on the final sitting day of the week.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten says it shows "Turnbull has no authority over his party."