Anthony Albanese has declined to recommit to the Uluru Statement from the Heart just days after his deputy said the government supported it in full.

The Prime Minister and Richard Marles distanced themselves from pursuing the second components of the statement – truth and treaty – on Tuesday, warning against expectations the next steps would be developed within days.

At the same time, the government has dialled up the heat on Opposition Leader Peter Dutton’s backflip on his call to hold a second referendum to symbolically recognise Indigenous Australians in the Constitution.

Facing criticism for failing to outline his position on truth and treaty, Mr Albanese said he was respecting the wishes of Indigenous leaders who have fallen silent as they grieve the Voice referendum result.

“I think that is pretty reasonable. We will then have a process of consultation,” he told parliament on Tuesday.

The government last year allocated funding to create a truth-telling mechanism, known as the Makarrata Commission, to be pursued after the referendum.

On Sunday, Mr Marles declared Labor’s full commitment to treaty and truth telling remained. Asked again on Tuesday, he watered down his remarks.

“We have made clear that we hear the voice of the Australian people and that the pursuit of reconciliation, the pursuit of closing the gap is no longer going to be achieved through constitutional reform,” he said.

“But we are completely committed to a process of reconciliation and we are deeply committed to a process of closing the gap.”

A typically quiet Scott Morrison piped up from the backbench: “That’s not what you said on Sunday”.

Earlier in the day, MPs from all sides of parliament gathered for the first time since Australians voted against the referendum for their party room meetings.

Mr Albanese told his troops they should be “proud” of the “good faith” Labor showed in putting the referendum to the people.

While Labor MPs refrained from asking questions that would suggest disunity within its ranks, the Prime Minister was asked about what message they could take back to their communities.

No questions were asked to the leader about a Makarrata Commission or federal treaty process during the party room meeting.

A spokesman said Mr Albanese urged MPs to focus on the cost of living and the government’s Housing Australia Future Fund and a recently inked skills agreement with the states.

Meanwhile down the hall, Mr Dutton demanded Mr Albanese “come clean” about the next steps for Indigenous policy.

The Coalition is pushing for a royal commission into child abuse in Indigenous communities and an audit into Indigenous funding.

However, the Greens have pleaded with Labor to not abandon the Uluru Statement and commit $250m to a truth and justice commission.

It comes as the opposition faced its own issues with its messaging.

Despite walking away from a second referendum just a day ago, Mr Dutton took to morning television to insist it was still Coalition policy.

“There’s lot of interpretation on this, but the Liberal Party’s gone to elections – every election since John Howard was leader – with the same policy” for constitutional recognition,” he told Sunrise.

“I think it is a respectful thing to do, it remains our policy, but as I’ve said … you can’t go to a referendum unless you think you’re going to win it.”

Mr Albanese seized on the backflip later in question time.

“It is not clear to me what his position is. It changed between yesterday and today – in fact, between Sunrise and Today. More flip-flopping than a thong factory, this bloke,” he said.

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