How a mystery Labor operative became part of Brittany Higgins’ inner circle following bombshell rape allegations
- Close friend to Brittany Higgins revealed as Labor adviser
- Emma Webster worked with Katy Gallagher, Dan Andrews
- She is the latest Labor-aligned person linked to Ms Higgins
A woman at the centre of Brittany Higgins’ inner circle following her bombshell rape allegations has been revealed to be a top Labor Party operative.
Emma Webster became one of Ms Higgins’ closest friends and trusted advisors during the ordeal, shadowing her to court everyday throughout Bruce Lehrmann’s criminal trial in October last year.
The former Liberal Party staffer alleges Mr Lehrmann sexually assaulted her in Senator Linda Reynolds’ office in Parliament House in the early hours of March 23, 2019, when they were colleagues. Mr Lehrmann strongly denies the allegation.
Before striking up her friendship with Ms Higgins, Ms Webster worked for a slew of Labor heavyweights including Victorian Premier Dan Andrews, former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and Finance Minister Katy Gallagher when she was Minister of the ACT in 2014.
It remains unclear how Ms Higgins and the senior adviser came to be such close friends.
Ms Webster was frequently pictured with Ms Higgins at the Bruce Lehrmann trial. Photos of the pair have also been published on social media
Emma Webster (left), who is a close friend of Brittany Higgins (centre), has been revealed to be a former advisor to former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Finance Minister, Katy Gallagher
As part of her roles, Ms Webster would advise on strategy and parliamentary preparation.
Ms Higgins and Mr Sharaz have shared gushing messages about Ms Webster becoming a member of their ‘family’.
‘You’re an incredible friend, a wise adviser, a patient therapist and an imposing bodyguard (when required),’ Ms Higgins tweeted.’
Ms Webster was asked by Sky News if she was sent to help Ms Higgins handle the media and the political scrutiny during her ordeal and fiercely denied the claims.
‘Brittany is my friend. She told me about her alleged sexual assault, and I offered my unconditional love and support.’
Ms Webster worked for Ms Gallagher (pictured) when she was Chief Minister of the ACT. Ms Gallagher was named by Ms Higgins’ fiancé, David Sharaz, as a ‘friend’ who could help the couple in a recording obtained by Daily Mail Australia
Just two weeks before the accusation of sexual assault was aired on The Project in February 2021, Ms Higgins’ partner David Sharaz asked host Lisa Wilkinson if she knew any ‘friendly MPs’ who could lob questions at the then-Liberal government during question time.
Mr Sharaz, in recorded audio revealed by Daily Mail Australia from the five-hour lunch, then told Ms Wilkinson and network producer Angus Llewellyn: ‘I have a friend in Labor, Katy Gallagher on the Labor side, who will probe and continue it going.
‘So sitting week, the story comes out, they have to answer questions at Question Time, it’s a mess for them.’
Ms Gallagher has vehemently denied having any knowledge of the allegation against Mr Lehrmann before they were made public.
The Labor heavyweight has also denied having any role in green-lighting the estimated $3million compensation payout to Ms Higgins that was signed off by the government in December last year.
Senator Reynolds on Wednesday said she plans to flag the settlement to the new federal anti-corruption commission, saying the speed of the process raises concerns about ‘fairness’.