Tense live TV moment Jacqui Lambie is called out for claiming Scott Morrison threatened to throw her in ‘JAIL’ if she leaked NZ refugee deal: ‘You’ve exaggerated that, do you stand by what you said?’
- Jacqui Lambie claims Scott Morrison was ‘intimidating’ during refugee deal
- The Tasmanian Senator says she was left with no other choice but ‘to shut up’
- Ms Lambie said she was faced with killing the deal or jail time if she spoke out
- Deal will see more than 400 refugees resettled in New Zealand over three years
Senator Jacqui Lambie has been questioned over her claims Scott Morrison ‘intimidated’ her after striking a deal to resettle refugees in New Zealand.
Speaking on the Today Show on Friday, Ms Lambie said she was told she could face jail time or risk killing the deal if she spoke out about the agreement before it was announced.
The deal, struck in 2019 but only revealed this week, will see NZ resettle more than 400 refugees stuck in Australian offshore detention over a three year period.
Senator Lambie said she felt ‘weighed down’ by the secret and was left with ‘no other choice but to shut up’ in order to ensure the deal was finalised.
However host Charles Croucher interjected: ‘Jacqui, that is a pretty standard sort of implication for any kind of leaking of a national security briefing.’
Host Charles Croucher (pictured) questioned Ms Lambie on whether the government was acting within the means of national security briefings in a tense moment on Today Show
‘Is what you’re saying, there was a greater threat from the prime minister than what would normally accompany a briefing of that magnitude?,’ he asked.
Ms Lambie fired back: ‘I just didn’t like the way it was handled, I was sitting at the table that day.
‘I felt that was more of a threat, you know, it depends on how you communicate things. I don’t believe it was very well communicated.’
Croucher continued to quiz Lambie over her claims: ‘There’s a bit of a difference between say that the prime minister threatened you with jail time and the feds saying, well, that was just a standard security briefing that everyone always gets.
‘The implication being that you’ve exaggerated that. Do you stand by what you said?’
Lambie responded: ‘I was in the room that day and I can tell you now what was said was intimidating. I spent 10 years in the army.
‘I takes a lot to intimidate me. It was intimidating what was said, it was bullish and I’ll stand by that.
Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie (pictured) said accused Mr Morrison of being ‘bullish’ and ‘intimidating’ over a 2019 deal to resettle refugees in New Zealand
The independent MP is finally free to speak after the federal government announced that it would begin accepting up to 150 refugees a year.
Some of the refugees in detention have been incarcerated for up to nine years with 150 asylum seekers to be resettled each year, for three years as part of a new deal announced by the federal government (pictured, Asylum seekers at Manus Island detention centre in 2014)
The landmark shift in immigration policy comes after years of Australian politicians expressing concerns a resettlement deal with New Zealand would create a ‘back door’ for refugees to enter Australia (pictured, laundry hangs from a fence at Christmas Island detention centre in 2012)
The agreement included the prime minister’s word he would accept New Zealand’s offer to welcome refugees in an Australian offshore detention facilities on Nauru as well as those in regional processing centres.
Some of the refugees in detention have been incarcerated for up to nine years with 150 asylum seekers to be resettled each year, for three years.
In return, Ms Lambie abandoned laws that would allow doctors, rather than the government, to decide when sick refugees could be evacuated to Australia.
The landmark shift in immigration policy comes after years of Australian politicians expressing concerns a resettlement deal with New Zealand would create a ‘back door’ for refugees to enter Australia.
The arrangement will initially be for refugees who are in Nauru or temporarily in Australia under regional processing arrangements and meet New Zealand’s refugee program requirements.