‘Sour grapes’ by Banks

Sunday Herald Sun - - News - RE­NEE VIELLARIS

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.

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