Prime Minister Scott Morrison says male and female parliamentarians were pressured during the intense chaos of liberal leaders, but he refrains from calling it intimidation.
As the aftermath of the bitter week of Liberal clashes in Canberra continues, Morrison said the drama represented the fiercest period of Australian politics since the dismissal of Gough Whitlam.
"When these ballots are held, both men and women are subject to a lot of pressure when they make these decisions," the prime minister told Network Ten on Thursday.
Pressed on whether he accepted the intimidation, Mr. Morrison said: "I think there was a lot of pressure applied during an intense period."
His comments come after Julie Bishop intervened in the debate on accusations of intimidation within the party.
Ms. Bishop said the policy was not for the fainthearted, but recent behavior in Canberra would not be tolerated in any other place of work in Australia.
"I have seen and witnessed and experienced some atrocious behavior in parliament," he said.
"(It is) the kind of behavior that 20 years ago when I was a managing partner of a 200-person law firm, I would never have accepted it."
Julie Bishop proclaims the culture of intimidation in Parliament.
Mr. Morrison said that he believed that Mrs. Bishop was taking care of the fierce weather of the spill.
Liberal MP Julia Banks and Sen. Lucy Gichuhi say they were subjected to harassment and intimidation by male colleagues during that week.
The behavior led Ms. Banks to leave parliament and Ms. Bishop asked why her party had problems attracting and reaching women.
"When an energetic and amazing woman like Julia Banks says that this environment is not for me, do not say 'harden the princess', say 'enough'."
The liberal leader Sussan Ley has changed his mind about whether the party should consider putting quotas to increase female representation.
"I've never liked the quotas, but I must say that I've recently wondered if we should consider them," Ley told ABC radio on Thursday.
Independent deputy Rebekha Sharkie says that behavior in parliament is sometimes appalling and labels the government as a "boys' club".
The daughter of ousted Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull responded to Mrs. Bishop's speech, saying it would be "very difficult to raise daughters and tell them to look for strong female models in the Liberal Party."
"I've never been a fan of quotas, but they may be the Libs' only hope of regaining their female followers," wrote Daisy Turnbull Brown on Twitter.
The former PM Julia Gillard on gender equality.