A screenshot of leaked text messages which reportedly shows former NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian branding Prime Minister Scott Morrison "a horrible, horrible person" has swiftly rubbished his claims she never sent the messages.
Mr Morrison, appearing on ABC's 7.30 on Tuesday night, said Ms Berejiklian "denies" sending the text messages.
However Ten's political editor Peter Van Onselen, who first revealed the text messages to Mr Morrison at the National Press Club in January, branded his claim as an "out and out lie".
Samantha Maiden, political editor at news.com.au, shared a screenshot of Ms Berejiklian's alleged exchange with an unnamed Liberal government minister to Twitter.
The texts show Ms Berejiklian accusing Mr Morrison of "actively spreading lies" before receiving a response that calls him a "complete psycho".
In the aftermath of the texts' leak, Ms Berejiklian said she had "no recollection" of the exchange.
On Wednesday morning, Maiden shared a follow-up message from Ms Berejiklian where she said she was "disappointed and gutted" over Mr Morrison's behaviour.
"Lives are at stake today and he is just obsessed with petty political pointscoring," she allegedly said.
NEW: A second leaked text from former NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian slamming the Prime Minister as being more concerned with “petty pointscoring” than human lives at the height of the deadly 2020 bushfires has emerged. https://t.co/6KkZvw5xA5 https://t.co/kyDxQ8OEJ2 pic.twitter.com/zYEFuCupzl
— Samantha Maiden (@samanthamaiden) April 5, 2022
Morrison grilled over range of issues
Mr Morrison clashed with a typically-robust 7.30 host Leigh Sales, who asked why would the Australian public vote for him when "many" in his party did not trust him.
“I’ve never had time for the factional games in the Liberal Party... You get plenty of enemies,’’ he said, brushing off rising discontent within his party and stressing he and his cabinet were focused on the job at hand.
"As prime minister, you've got to take all the slings and arrows — and I do — but I never lose my focus on the job.
"I'll always stand up to the things that are trying to take our government off in the wrong direction."
Mr Morrison also appeared unfazed by polling which tipped Labor leader Anthony Albanese as the country's next prime minister, insisting elections are "always tight".
Sales pulled Mr Morrison up on a range of matters, including his claims people had told him not to provide financial assistance to those affected by natural disasters after the devastating flood event in northern NSW.
"Who said that?!" she asked, rejecting Mr Morrison's claim people say it "all the time".
Mr Morrison again reiterated he hadn't been to a Hillsong event in the past 15 years despite video emerging of him at one in the wake of Hillsong's founding pastor Brian Houston's resignation over inappropriate conduct involving two women at the church.
Wrapping up the interview, Sales laughed at Mr Morrison's failure to give a direct answer when he was asked if he would do the traditional two 7.30 interviews in the build-up to the federal election.
“It’s not about 7.30, it’s about the Australian people," he hit back.
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