Barnaby Joyce Says He Offered To Resign Over Calling PM a ‘Hypocrite and a Liar’

Barnaby Joyce Says He Offered To Resign Over Calling PM a ‘Hypocrite and a Liar’

By Matthew Doran

Barnaby Joyce says he offered his resignation as deputy prime minister after an explosive text message he wrote last year — calling Prime Minister Scott Morrison a “hypocrite and a liar” — was exposed.

After he learned the text would be made public within days, the Nationals leader apologised to Mr Morrison on Thursday night and offered to resign, but the Prime Minister refused to accept his resignation.

Mr Joyce had sent the text to former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins, through a third party, in March 2021, after she alleged that she had been raped by a fellow staffer in the ministerial wing of Parliament House.

The then-backbench MP’s frank character assessment of the Prime Minister was scathing.

“Tell BH [Brittany Higgins] I and Scott, he is Scott to me until I have to recognise his office, don’t get along.

“He is a hypocrite and a liar from my observations and that is over a long time.

“I have never trusted him and I dislike how he earnestly rearranges the truth to a lie.”

The text message was first reported by Nine Newspapers on Friday night, forcing Mr Joyce to front the media on Saturday morning.

“When it came to light a couple of days ago, I rang the Prime Minister immediately. I apologised, he accepted my apology,” Mr Joyce said.

“I offered my resignation, and he did not accept my resignation.

“That in itself is a statement of a person of greater character. That is not one of a person of any form of vindictiveness, or pique, or a sense of retribution.”

Mr Joyce said his earlier description of Mr Morrison, expressed via text, had formed before he became Nationals Leader and Deputy Prime Minister in a leadership challenge in June 2021.

“My view from the backbench about the Prime Minister was based on assumption and commentary, not from a one-on-one working relationship,” Mr Joyce said.

“And, from a one-on-one working relationship, I found a man who has honoured every agreement that he’s made with me, and who I have noted has honoured every agreement that he’s made with others from both sides of the political fence.”

While Mr Joyce and Mr Morrison had not served alongside each other as Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister prior to June 2021, they had spent time sitting around the Cabinet table in various ministerial roles during the Abbott and Turnbull governments.

Mr Joyce was due to appear on the ABC’s Sunday morning political show Insiders, but pulled out shortly after his Saturday morning media conference.

Texts made public after Joyce’s comments

Ms Higgins shared the text message from Mr Joyce with Nine Newspapers on Wednesday, ahead of the publication on Friday night, following comments from Mr Joyce.

Earlier in the week, the Deputy Prime Minister had urged the author of two-year old derogatory text messages — exchanged between an anonymous federal cabinet minister and then New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian — to “out” themselves.

Some of the texts had been read aloud to the Prime Minister at the National Press Club of Australia by Network Ten’s political editor, Peter van Onselen, after Mr Morrison had delivered his first speech of the year.

In a statement on Friday night, the Prime Minister said he accepted Mr Joyce’s apology “in good faith”.

“I understand Barnaby was in a different headspace last year, both professionally and personally, and so I know he genuinely no longer feels this way,” Mr Morrison said in a statement.

“Relationships change over time. Politicians are human beings too.

“We all have our frailties and none of us are perfect.”

Health Minister Greg Hunt was quick to launch a defence of the Prime Minister and insisted Mr Joyce’s apology should be accepted.

“I believe in the Prime Minister personally, I believe in his capacities, and of all of the people to lead the recovery, he and Josh Frydenberg, I think, are the strongest possible team Australia can have.”

Unsurprisingly, Mr Hunt insisted the matter would not serve as a distraction for the return of Parliament next week.

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese argued there was no way Mr Joyce could remain Deputy Prime Minister, after his scathing critique of Mr Morrison.

“Barnaby Joyce said that was a year ago, I have got to know him better — hang on a second here,” Mr Albanese said.

“That was after Barnaby Joyce had served in the cabinet for over half a decade alongside of Scott Morrison, when deputy prime minister of Australia the first time and a senior cabinet minister serving in a cabinet with Scott Morrison … and serving in Parliament with him for over a decade.

“The idea that this was just a flippant remark is simply untenable.”


Original Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-02-05/barnaby-joyce-offered-resignation-over-scott-morrison-liar-text/100807332

Related News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

ANR Meme Report

with Nadine Roberts

Episode 002

ANR Daily News

View all news

Receive Daily News from our independent media partners