Australia Deputy PM apologises for calling PM Morrison ‘hypocrite and liar’


(Reuters) – Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce apologised on Saturday to Prime Minister Scott Morrison for calling him “a hypocrite and a liar” and mentioned that Morrison had rejected his provide to resign.

Morrison mentioned in a press release that he accepted Joyce’s apology.

In a leaked message the deputy prime minister, who heads the junior associate in Morrison’s coalition authorities, mentioned final 12 months that he had by no means trusted Morrison.

“He is a hypocrite and a liar from my observations and that’s over a very long time,” Joyce wrote to a former staffer of Morrison’s Liberal Party who had alleged sexual assault by a fellow staffer.

Joyce’s remarks additional shake the political place of Morrison, who should name a federal election by May. His approval rankings have fallen over his dealing with of a Omicron-driven coronavirus outbreak.

“I wish to apologise to the prime minister … I ought to have by no means written the textual content that I did,” Joyce advised a information convention. “My view from the backbench in regards to the prime minister was based mostly on assumption and commentary, not from a one-on-one working relationship.”

Joyce grew to become deputy prime minister in 2021 because the chief of the National Party, not as Morrison’s appointee. Joyce’s get together, which has the facility to take away him as its chief, didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

Morrison responded, “Relationships change over time. Politicians are human beings too. We all have our frailties and none of us are good.”

Joyce’s textual content message, first reported on Friday night time by Nine Newspapers, was despatched by a 3rd get together to former Liberal Party staffer Brittany Higgins. She had alleged she was sexually assaulted in Parliament House in March 2019.

The political commotion comes simply days after an argument about an alleged alternate between senior Liberal Party members making derogatory remarks about Morrison.

Opposition Labor chief Anthony Albanese mentioned that it was “untenable” for Joyce to proceed as deputy prime minister.

“I could not care much less that the Liberal Party members all do not like every,” Albanese mentioned at a briefing. “What I do care about is the implications of a authorities that’s dysfunctional.”

(Reporting by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; Editing by William Mallard)

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