Anthony Albanese has insisted the steaks he cooked with Daniel Andrews at the weekend were real after false rumours a photo of the pair was staged.
Eagle-eyed Twitter users said the image was photoshopped after spotting a lack of char marks on the sirloin.
Liberal MP for La Trobe, Jason Wood, promoted the conspiracy in a post on his Facebook, but Mr Albanese hit back after Question Time on Thursday.
Daniel Andrews (right) and Anthony Albanese (left) fired up some sirloins when the pair met in Melbourne on Saturday
‘The member for La Trobe has joined the conspiracy theorists that a barbecue cooked for me by the Premier of Victoria on Saturday was a fake,’ the Labor leader said.
‘I can confirm, Mr Speaker, just like the moon landing, it was real. The steaks were cooked perfectly medium rare.
‘The steaks were cooked but not as cooked as the member for La Trobe.’
Mr Wood was seen laughing at the joke along with other members in the House.
Mr Albanese’s witty remarks came after another sassy display earlier in the week when he called Peter Dutton a ‘doofhead’ and told him to sit down.
Earlier this week Daniel Andrews hit back at photoshop claims, insisting the grill was turned on and that he had already seared his steak off camera.
He insisted the pair had moments earlier used a frying pan to ensure the steak was cooked properly.
‘The gas was on,’ Mr Andrews said, shaking his head. ‘Searing a steak before you put it on the barbecue is not the most novel thing ever.
‘Maybe I should have taken a wider shot for the side burner which had a frying pan on it.
‘I can assure you the asparagus went onto the barbecue and was cooked.’
Mr Andrews also took the opportunity to hit back at Mr Wood, who questioned the practicality of the Victorian leader cooking in a wool jumper.
‘It was windy and not that warm,’ the premier said. ‘That’s why I had a jumper on.’
‘Who’s that joker Jason Wood – if I were him I’d be out campaigning, given the way they’re travelling at the moment, rather than commenting on my barbecuing skills,’ he said in reference to the Liberals trailing in the polls.
Liberal MP Jason Wood questioned the practicality of the Victorian leader cooking in a woolen jumper
Mr Albanese’s selfie on Saturday sparked a series of questions from commenters questioning the authenticity of the pair’s photo together.
‘If those steaks were cooked on that barbeque, how is it so clean? Where are the grill lines? Why is it off?’ one person wrote.
Another said: ‘Embarrassingly staged! Anyone who has ever barbecued a steak on a grill, knows that these steaks were NOT cooked on that grill. Pathetic.’
Others remarked that the pair were not dressed for Saturday afternoon barbeque as Mr Albanese was in a suit and Mr Andrews in a shirt and jumper.
Pictured: Liberal MP Jason Wood mocked Mr Andrews’ photo op
But supporters of Mr Andrews and the Labor opposition leader argued the two ‘men of integrity’ would never do such a thing.
They said no flames could be seen because of a very logical explanation.
‘Sounds like you have never heard of resting your steak!’ one person wrote.
Another said: ‘This puts a smile on my dial! This is what Australia needs!’
‘What a great photo. Not staged. Just two mates enjoying a BBQ,’ a third added.
Albo made the trip down from his Grayndler electorate in Sydney at a time when the stakes have never been higher as a federal election looms early next year.
While travelling in Victoria over the weekend, Mr Albanese pledged a federal Labor government would partner with the Victorian state to upgrade Barwon Heads Road from Geelong to the southeast edge of Port Phillip Bay.
He promised ‘more local jobs, quicker commute times, and a better life for people on the Bellarine’.
At the same time the pair were supposedly working the tongs, a major anti-lockdown, and vaccination protest was being carried out in the centre of Melbourne with demonstrators shouting ‘sack Dan Andrews’.
When zoomed in, the meat does not appear to have any char marks from the Barbeque grill leading many to believe the photo was a ‘fake’.