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"Labor clowns" caused government blunder

AAP logoAAP 12/10/2016 Ethan James

The creepy clown craze sweeping the country has nothing on the jokers in the Labor Party, a Turnbull government minister claims.

The coalition was left embarrassed on Wednesday night when it accidentally passed a bill with an opposition amendment that called on the government to explain its failures on multinational tax avoidance.

But James McGrath, the prime minister's assistant minister, argued the amendment, slipped in by shadow assistant treasurer Andrew Leigh, was just another Labor stunt.

"There's a craze in Australia at the moment for people to dress up as crazy clowns but come down to Canberra - ladies and gentlemen ... you just have to look in the Labor caucus," he told reporters on Thursday morning.

"They may not have the crazy hair, they may not have the big nose that goes honk or lots of make-up but Labor are the clown party."

Last month the government lost three procedural votes in the House of Representatives when Labor caught out several ministers leaving parliament early.

"Labor are the stunt party ... they're just graduates of clown school," Senator McGrath said.

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