Scott Morrison goes all in on Gladys Berejiklian: PM gives the ex-Premier her biggest backing yet and says she was unfairly ‘SHAMED’ as Liberals beg her to make shock return to politics
Scott Morrison has given Gladys Berejiklian his strongest backing yet and railed against her critics as the Liberals urge her to run for federal politics.
The Prime Minister said the former NSW Premier was ‘shamed’ by a corruption investigation into her secret relationship with disgraced MP Daryl Maguire.
The inquiry heard taped phone calls between Ms Berejiklian and Mr Maguire in which they called each other affectionate nicknames such as ‘hawkiss’, which means ‘my beloved’ in Armenian.
Scott Morrison (pictured at the the Bathurst 1000) has again backed Gladys Berejiklian as the Liberals urge her to run for federal politics
Mr Morrison said ‘private conversations’ were ‘paraded around in the media’.
‘What was that about? Was that about shaming Gladys Berejiklian? I thought that was awful,’ he said.
Mr Morrison said he would back Ms Berejiklian to run for the federal seat of Warringah, which is next to her state electorate of Willoughby on Sydney’s lower north shore.
‘If she wished to join our team, she would be very welcome. I have no doubt that whatever Gladys sets her mind to, she will be a great success,’ he said.
‘She is a person of great integrity. If she wants to have a crack at Warringah for the Liberal Party, I suspect the people would welcome that in Warringah. We will let the people decide.’
The seat is held with a 7.2 per cent margin by independent Zali Steggall who took it from Tony Abbot in 2019 with a pro-climate campaign.
The ICAC probe investigated whether Ms Berejiklian breached public trust by not reporting any suspicion of corrupt conduct and probed what role she had to play in two government grants handed out in Mr Maguire’s electorate.
Findings will be handed down early next year.
Mr Morrison said the process was unfair and essentially forced Ms Berejiklian to resign on October 1.
‘What I found is that Gladys was put in a position of actually having to stand down and there were no findings of anything. I don’t call that justice.
‘I don’t call that justice. What I saw is a pile on and we are all used to pile ons on our side of politics.
‘I see them all the time. We have thick skins and we can deal with it and Gladys certainly knows how to,’ he said.
Mr Morrison said he would back Ms Berejiklian (pictured with boyfriend Arthur Moses) to run for the federal seat of Warringah