Elliott says he never meant to cause any distress
CORRECTIONS Minister David Elliott yesterday defended his role in airing harassment allegations against former Labor leader Luke Foley, saying it was “never my intent to cause distress for the journalist”.
Mr Elliott drew criticism after ABC journalist Ashleigh Raper said his raising the incident in parliament pushed the issue into the public domain, sparking intense media attention.
“This occurred without my involvement or consent,” she said.
In response, Mr Elliott said yesterday: “This has clearly been a difficult time for the journalist. I have long held concerns over the character of the alternate premier.
“To that end, it was never my intent to cause distress for the journalist.”
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she had not endorsed her minister’s use of parliamentary privilege to attack Mr Foley last month. However, she said his actions “were not premeditated”.
Ms Berejiklian said she felt “incredibly disappointed” Ms Raper had “control of the issue, in the way she wanted, taken away from her”.
“Look, I’ve expressed my disappointment and I made that very clear (to Mr Elliott). I’ve expressed that and I’ll continue to on a whole range of levels,” Ms Berejiklian said.
She described the TV journalist, who previously worked at state parliament, as someone of “enormous intelligence, integrity and professionalism”.
“And that was only enhanced yesterday by her eloquent and brave statement,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“We need to respect what she said.”