By Charlie Moore For Daily Mail Australia
Published: 22:44 BST, 21 May 2019 | Updated: 23:40 BST, 21 May 2019
Bill Shorten (pictured) has been accused of meddling in the Labor leadership contest
Bill Shorten has been accused of meddling in the Labor leadership contest.
The former leader apparently phoned MPs persuading them to back Labor deputy leader Tanya Plibersek before she dropped out, citing family reasons.
Since then he has reportedly been calling members to make sure someone runs against left-winger and former deputy prime minister Anthony Albanese.
'He was initially ringing people around the country urging them to vote for Tanya,' a senior MP told the Sydney Morning Herald.
'He has also been actively lobbying people making sure someone runs against Albo.
'It's weird. As a former leader you have an opportunity to be above it. You get treated with a whole respect for making that choice.'
Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen, the architect of many of Labor's unpopular policies, announced on Tuesday he will stand against Mr Albanese.
It comes as federal Labor frontbencher Penny Wong looks set to endorse Mr Albanese as the 'best person' to become the party's next national leader.
The South Australian senator is expected to make an announcement on Wednesday, a day after shadow treasurer and NSW right faction member Mr Bowen launched his bid for the role.
Senator Wong 'genuinely believes he (Albanese) is the best person to take them to government in the next election', a friend told the Adelaide Advertiser.
Frontbencher Tony Burke is also