Patricia Karvelas: Just on this Angus Taylor matter, which has been unfolding in question time over the last day, Labor is now demanding a transcript of that conversation with the New South Wales police commissioner and the prime minister, all of its details in a transcript. Why should we see a transcript?
Mark Dreyfus: Because this is a call which should never have been made. It’s reflective of appalling judgment on the part of this prime minister, who seems to have forgotten that he’s not some Liberal head-kicker, trying to protect one of his cabinet mates, he’s the prime minister of this country.
It’s completely wrong for him to have called directly, on his mobile – we learned from the police commissioner in the press conference this morning – called him three times, and because the police commissioner didn’t have the number in his phone, he didn’t pick up.
But apparently he finally got through. It’s a call which should never have been made. It is wrong at every level. It’s compromised the police commissioner, it’s compromised the investigation, and one can only imagine the pressure that’s now been put on the actual police officers who are conducting this investigation, the police officers who make up the strike force that the NSW police have established.
PK: Are you suggesting that Scott Morrison’s call to commissioner Mick Fuller was an attempt to influence the investigation into Angus Taylor? Or just that it’s a bad look?
MD: We don’t know what the prime minister said to the police commissioner. We don’t know what the police commissioner said in return. We do know from question time today that there’s a complete inconsistency between the way in which the prime minister tried yesterday to describe his phone call to the police commissioner.
The police commissioner has said this morning that it was a very short call. The police commissioner has said that he said no more than what had already been stated in the media on behalf of the NSW police.
The prime minister told the parliament yesterday that it had gone to the substance of the charges. Now, they both can’t be right. That’s why we need to see a transcript.
The prime minister stonewalled, in effect, throughout question time today, because he ought to be embarrassed.
He ought to be embarrassed by his own performance. He ought to be embarrassed by the contempt that he has shown for the integrity of our system of government, and he ought to be embarrassed that he hasn’t applied the standards of John Howard, the standards of Malcolm Turnbull, which would require him to immediately stand down this cabinet minister, who has used a forged document while a cabinet minister to attack a political opponent. It’s just extraordinary, Patricia, that this prime minister’s standards seem to be in the gutter, and he needs to actually pay attention to past practice here, not of Labor governments, I’m pointing to – although in Labor governments
There’s plenty of ministers that were stood down over the past 30 or 40 years – this is Liberal governments …
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