Australian political contender fights back tears over mother

Australian opposition leader Bill Shorten has fought back tears and won widespread public support as he attacked a newspaper that challenged his version of his mother's life story that inspired his political career.

The Daily Telegraph's accusation Wednesday that Shorten had omitted part of his mother Ann Shorten's story has been condemned by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and provided voters with a glimpse of the opposition leader's emotional side ahead of elections next week.

Shorten was attacked for saying his mother wanted to become a lawyer but had to accept a university scholarship to study teaching because her parents could not afford law school fees.

The newspaper says he "omitted the fact that she went on to enjoy an illustrious career as a barrister."

Shorten says the report is "rubbish."