'Not how a prime minister should act': Turnbull blasts Morrison in brutal interview

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has accused Scott Morrison of failing to show leadership during the bushfire crisis.

Mr Turnbull spoke with the BBC in a wide-ranging interview where he suggested the prime minister had misled the country by downplaying the influence of global warming.

"Everybody knew we were in a very dry time and as a consequence the fire season was likely to be very bad," he told the BBC.

Malcolm Turnbull (left) and an image of smoke rising from the Victorian bushfires.
Malcolm Turnbull (left) said Scott Morrison 'is not consistent with the way in which a prime minister should act in a national crisis'. Source: AAP

"So rather than doing what a leader should do and preparing people for that, he downplayed it and then, of course, chose to go away on holiday in Hawaii at the peak of the crisis."

Mr Turnbull said he "cannot explain" his successor's approach.

"It's just not consistent with the way in which a prime minister would or should act in a national crisis like this," he said.

Liberal Party right ‘operate like terrorists’

The former Liberal Party leader also insisted that he had been victim of political insurgency.

"The right [wing] in the Liberal Party essentially operate like terrorists," he said.

Scott Morrison (left) with Tony Abbott (right)
Mr Turnbull accused Tony Abbott (right), of being 'the most prominent climate change denier in Australian politics' and said members of the Liberal Party operate 'like terrorists'. Source: AAP

"Now I'm not suggesting that they use guns and bombs or anything like that, but their approach is one of intimidation.

"And they basically say to the rest of the party… if you don't do what we want, we will blow the show up.

Famously one of the coup leaders said to me, 'you have to give in to the terrorists'."

Climate change deniers

Mr Turnbull took aim at other former and current leaders, accusing ex-prime minister, Tony Abbott, of being "probably the most prominent climate denier in Australian politics, but there are plenty of others" who were engaged in a "war against science".

"It is an extraordinarily irrational and self-destructive approach," Mr Turnbull said.

He also named US President Donald Trump describing him as the world's "leading climate denier".

Prime Minister Scott Morrison (left) and President Donald Trump (right).
Malcolm Turnbull criticised Donald Trump (right) over the US President's comments saying 'global warming is rubbish'. Source: AAP

"Trump is playing a very destructive role in terms of climate action. Trump makes no bones about it. He says global warming is rubbish," Mr Turnbull said.

The former PM ended his interview cautioning world leaders.

"How many more coral reefs have to be bleached? How many more million hectares of forest have to be burned? How many more lives and homes have to be lost before the climate change deniers acknowledge they are wrong?"

with AAP

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