Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is shocked at the Brittany Higgins row in a bruise interview with David Koch on the host’s final day on Seven’s Sunrise.
The Prime Minister appeared on the show in person to say goodbye to the TV veteran, but was instead given a punishing interrogation about the Higgins affair and the role of his Chancellor of the Exchequer Katy Gallagher.
“We have to cover the news of the day,” Koch said shortly after the prime minister sat down at the host’s desk.
“Indeed,” the prime minister replied before Koch squarely clashed, “Did your colleague mislead Parliament?”
“No,” snapped the prime minister when Koch continued, “From that vision, it seems she clearly did.”
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is grilled about the Brittany Higgins row in a bruise interview with David Koch on the host’s final day on Seven’s Sunrise
New leaked text messages between Brittany Higgins and her fiancé David Sharaz (pictured together) appear to suggest that Anthony Albanese and other Labor heavyweights were in ‘direct contact’ with the pair as part of a plot to publicize her alleged assault in Parliament. to make
Four days before Ms Higgins’ allegations became public, Mr Sharaz wrote about how Senator Gallagher (pictured) was ‘really invested’ in the saga
The tense exchange followed claims that Senator Gallagher helped “weaponize” Ms. Higgins’ rape allegations to use against then-Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Ms. Gallagher told the Senate that “no one had prior knowledge” of the allegations against Liberal staffer Bruce Lehrmann until they were made public.
But new texts would indicate she learned of Ms Higgins’ rape allegations at least four days before her interview with Lisa Wilkinson on The Project aired in February 2021.
Text messages between Ms. Higgins and Mr. Sharaz said the senator was “really invested” in Ms. Higgins’ claims four days before the shocking allegations aired.
Daily Mail Australia revealed that Mr Sharaz boasted about his friendship with the Labor senator and intended to brief her to ask questions in parliament.
The prime minister hit back with a blunt denial and reaffirmed his support for his finance minister, insisting, “She didn’t.”
He dismissed concerns that Ms Gallagher was being linked to Ms Higgins’ multi-million dollar damages for her treatment in parliament after she made her rape allegations.
Ms. Higgins filed a $3 million dollar claim and the case was settled on the first day of mediation without even hearing key witnesses, including Ms. Higgins’ former bosses, ex-ministers Linda Reynolds and Michaelia Cash.
The Prime Minister insisted: ‘Katy Gallagher was not involved in that in any way.’
But Koch pressed the prime minister, saying: ‘The view for the Australian public is that it’s a serious charge. It’s a serious accusation.’
Mr Albanese agreed, but added: ‘The idea that there is a conspiracy…well, that’s nonsense. That’s nonsense.
“She’s a great minister. She’s a great finance minister and she’s a great minister for the status of women.’
He added, “You have these kinds of stories on the front pages because of text messages between two partners. Let’s be very clear here. One was a Liberal staff member.
“I was questioned about it. I met Brittany Higgins the same day she met Scott Morrison.
“I’d never met her before then, and that’s the only conversation I’ve ever had with her.”
Anthony Albanese said Scott Morrison had led the country’s concern over the allegations and commissioned the Gaertjens report on the incident whose findings have yet to be revealed
Ms Gallagher told the Senate that ‘no one had any prior knowledge’ of the allegations against Liberal staffer Bruce Lehrmann (pictured) until they were made public
Explosive text messages between Ms Higgins and Mr Sharaz revealed that the pair had been planning how to ‘f***’ then Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
“Wait a minute,” Mrs. Higgins texted Mr. Sharaz. ‘We’ve got him.’ Mr. Sharaz replied, “I still hate the c***.”
But Mr Albanese said Mr Morrison had led the nation’s concern over the allegations and commissioned the Gaertjens report on the incident, the findings of which have yet to be revealed.
“There was a story about allegations of sexual assault by a Liberal staff member against another Liberal staff member in a Liberal minister’s office, meters from the Prime Minister’s office,” Mr Albanese said.
The Prime Minister made comments about it the next day, speaking of a discussion he had with [his wife] Jenny and about how he immediately felt about it.
“Then you had the Prime Minister himself conduct an investigation into what his office knew, and then a report we’ve never seen before, and the idea that no questions would be asked.
“This was the headline on this show, on every show, in every newspaper, and of course we asked questions there.”
He added: ‘At the time it was Scott Morrison who stood up and made a statement to Parliament.
“The only time in all my time in parliament I can remember a prime minister making a statement at the start of question time without notice.”