‘Sour grapes’ by Banks
LIBERAL Party defector Julia Banks has been accused by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton of making false claims that she was bullied by party colleagues. He alleges the Victorian MP did so because she was bitter about not being promoted to Scott Morrison’s ministry. Ms Banks, who was a close ally of Malcolm Turnbull, has repeatedly said she was bullied and intimidated by colleagues during the August spill. She has never used parliamentary privilege to name the so-called bullies, but has continued to make her claims — most recently in an interview in The Australian Women’s Weekly.
But a fed-up Mr Dutton said Ms Banks had lashed out because she did not get promoted.
“She has made allegations about being bullied, but has never detailed a single case. My colleagues have been tarnished by accusations of bullying and intimidation — and the claims are false,” he said.
“It just didn’t happen. It has been used by Julia as an excuse to leave the party because she was upset about Malcolm losing the leadership and her not being promoted to the ministry under Scott.
“It is pure and simple a case of sour grapes and it deserves to be called out. We need more women in politics, but to suggest we have a bullying problem is ridiculous.”
He also said of Ms Banks’ concerns about offshore processing of asylum seekers: “Julia made a big issue of Nauru and kids in detention. The reality is she never raised it with me once.”
Ms Banks did not respond to attempts to contact her yesterday.