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Good news: Most members of Federal Cabinet say they don’t think the PM is a ‘psycho’

Federal ministers have lined up to deny describing Prime Minister Scott Morrison as a “complete psycho” to former NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian.

Feb 03, 2022, updated Feb 03, 2022
Former NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Prime Minister Scott Morrison photographed together last year before the Premier resigned from office. Their relationship has come back under scrutiny after the release of damning text messages.
 (Photo: AAP).

Former NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Prime Minister Scott Morrison photographed together last year before the Premier resigned from office. Their relationship has come back under scrutiny after the release of damning text messages. (Photo: AAP).

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has called on the minister who leaked the texts to explain themselves before they’re outed.

Both Foreign Minister Marise Payne and NDIS Minister Linda Reynolds have denied being behind it.

“I can say categorically that these claims have nothing to do with me,” Senator Payne said.

“I have never had such an exchange with the former premier, nor have I ever used such language, and nor did I leak messages, if indeed they are genuine.

“It is ludicrous to suggest otherwise.”

Senator Reynolds’ office also insisted the minister had sent no such messages to Ms Berejiklian.

Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews, too, denied any involvement.

“I can definitely rule myself out. I certainly have said no such thing, and nor am I involved in any chat groups with the former premier of NSW either,” she told 4BC radio.

Others to issue denials included Sussan Ley, Simon Birmingham, Anne Ruston, and Greg Hunt.

Joyce said the leaker’s identity was no secret and “3000 people know” who it was.

“I would suggest that if you know anything about this, don’t wait to be outed, out yourself and give an explanation,” he told reporters.

“Maybe you had a bad day in the office, I don’t know. But give an explanation for yourself and that’s the better way to do it.”

Berejiklian was revealed by Network Ten to have labelled the prime minister a “horrible, horrible person” who was “actively spreading lies” during the exchange with the unnamed cabinet minister.

“Lives are at stake today and he’s just obsessed with petty political point scoring,” she was reported to have said during the Black Summer bushfires.

The minister called Morrison a “complete psycho”, and also described him as “desperate and jealous”.

“The mob have worked him out and think he’s a fraud,” the minister said.

When asked whether he was confident that minister was not currently sitting in his cabinet, Morrison told reporters: “Yes.”

“I’m not fussed,” he said when asked if he had sought an investigation into their identity.

Morrison was again pressed about what made him so sure the minister was not currently in federal cabinet.

“I have confidence,” he replied.

Berejiklian earlier insisted she had no recollection of the text exchange.

She sought to reiterate “my very strong support for Prime Minister Morrison and all he is doing for our nation during these very challenging times”.

Morrison said he hadn’t yet spoken with Berejiklian about the saga.

“But I do welcome her very kind comments that she made yesterday, and that very much reflects the strong working relationship we’ve had,” he said of her statement.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese said it was an extraordinary text message exchange, coming at a time when the bushfires were having a devastating impact and people were concerned about the federal response.

“The statement from the former premier where she said, ‘lives are at stake today and he’s just obsessed with petty political point-scoring’, I think is devastating,” Albanese said.

“That alone is enough to disqualify him (Mr Morrison) from being someone who secures a second decade in office.”

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