'Are you a buffoon?' Scott Morrison's awkward press moment

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·News Reporter
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The prime minister has hit back at suggestions he’s a “buffoon” over his "kangaroo court" comments about the NSW anti-corruption body.

Scott Morrison, who’s repeatedly criticised the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), was facing the media in Sydney on Tuesday when one journalist put the question to him.

“One of the commissioners said that those who describe the ICAC as a kangaroo court are buffoons,” the reporter said.

“You described it as a kangaroo court. Are you a buffoon?”

Scott Morrison speaks to media at a press conference in Sydney on Tuesday
Scott Morrison has been forced to defend claims that he is a 'buffoon' for referring to the NSW anti-corruption body as a 'kangaroo court.' Source: ABC

Mr Morrison asked for the question to be clarified before stating he stood behind his previous comments about the watchdog.

“I have serious criticisms of the NSW ICAC model,” he said. “I’ve never been a fan of how it’s conducted itself.”

“I don’t care if barristers and lawyers and others up there in Macquarie Street — not in the [NSW] parliament, but in the barristers chambers — disagree with me.”

“I’ve never had much truck with them over the course of my entire political career,” he added. “I’ll leave them to do what they do, I’ll focus on what I think is the right model for Australia.”

The prime minister’s been under pressure to introduce a federal integrity commission similar to ICAC, the body that spelled the end of former NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s reign.

Last week, outgoing ICAC Commissioner Stephen Rushton said those that called the commission a kangaroo court were ‘buffoons,’ saying such comments could undermine public confidence in its work.

While he conceded that he and the PM disagreed, Mr Perrottet argued that the body plays a pivotal role in maintaining high standards of public office in NSW.

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