Brittany Higgins welcomes Scott Morrison’s invitation to meet and discuss the culture at work after allegedly raped by a colleague at Parliament House
- Scott Morrison offers to meet alleged rape victim Brittany Higgins ‘anywhere’
- Ms. Higgins welcomes the opportunity to change workplace culture in Parliament House
- Investigations launched into alleged smear campaign digging into Ms. Higgins’s partner
The Prime Minister has offered to meet Brittany Higgins anywhere she wants to talk.
Scott Morrison said he was pleased to meet the former Liberal staffer, who claims she was raped by a colleague in a ministerial office.
“We have always tried to respect her privacy and her wishes in this,” he said Friday.
‘I could also understand why she wouldn’t necessarily meet in Parliament House, that would be perfectly understandable.
Brittany Higgins, who claimed to have been raped in Parliament House, has welcomed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s offer to come and talk about how workplace culture can change
“We can meet in other cities.”
He said Ms. Higgins had shown no interest in meeting him, but since then said she was unaware that the offer was being offered.
“I was never informed that the prime minister was willing to discuss my concerns about how my attack was handled,” she said in a statement to Nine News.
“I welcome the opportunity to meet with the Prime Minister to discuss how to improve the working culture in Parliament House.”
The prime minister has since opened an investigation into whether his office informed journalists against Ms. Higgins’s partner in an attempt to discredit and undermine her.
His Chief of Staff spoke to a “direct and primary” source who witnessed the alleged background information.
He thanked the counselor for coming, but did not want to say when action would be taken.
“In anything as sensitive as this one, it’s important to follow a proper process to investigate these cases,” Morrison said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison offered to meet Ms. Higgins “wherever” she feels comfortable
“It is not appropriate for me to comment continuously on every step of that process.
“Australians need to know that we take this extremely seriously and follow any information provided to us.”
Labor asked every day for two weeks if the prime minister’s staff had a background against Ms. Higgins’s loved ones.
Opposition leader Anthony Albanese said it was disappointing that Mr Morrison took action only after someone came forward with first-hand information, rather than seeking an answer himself.
Ms. Higgins also wrote to the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff requesting an investigation and said the background had been reported to her by various sources in multiple media outlets.
“He should ask his office and just say what happened to the undermining of Brittany Higgins’s loved ones,” Mr. Albanian said.
Mrs. Higgins was allegedly raped by a colleague in Parliament House
The prime minister is looking for a circuit breaker after being criticized for his tone-deaf response to a national debate on the treatment of women.
The conversation was sparked by Ms. Higgins who came forward last month to allege that she had been raped by a colleague in 2019.
Since then, allegations of rape have been made to Attorney General Christian Porter, whom he denies, and revelations of a toxic work culture in Parliament House.
The horrific allegations have engulfed the Morrison administration and sparked wider debate about sexual discrimination, harassment and abuse.
The prime minister has repeatedly admitted that he has not responded to the national movement and has admitted that he has not understood the anger over violence against women.
He has also admitted that people in his administration abandoned Ms. Higgins after she reported the alleged rape in parliament.
Morrison will spend the next few days trying to clear the air by rearranging his front bench setup.
But moving Mr. Porter and Secretary of Defense Linda Reynolds, who had to apologize for calling Ms. Higgins a “ lying cow, ” to other portfolios is unlikely to satisfy those who demand accountability.
A national debate on the treatment of women was sparked by Ms. Higgins speaking out last month about her alleged rape in Parliament House by an elderly colleague.