Albanese under pressure over Anthony Byrne

Daniel McCulloch
Federal Labor MP Anthony Byrne is in the firing line over text messages he sent to Adem Somyurek

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese is under pressure to discipline a Labor backbencher ensnared in a branch-stacking scandal and assess his role on a powerful national security committee.

Anthony Byrne is in the spotlight after a major investigation into Victorian Labor claimed the scalps of party powerbroker Adem Somyurek and two factional allies.

Some of the covert recordings were captured in Mr Byrne's office and his phone calls were also recorded.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Mr Albanese must decide whether Mr Byrne should remain as deputy chair of federal parliament's intelligence and security committee.

Mr Morrison has framed the committee predicament as a test for his opposite number.

"I would take a recommendation from the leader of the opposition as to who he believes should be serving on that committee in the first instance," he said on Thursday.

"And I would wait to see what his recommendation would be."

Mr Albanese said Mr Byrne would remain deputy chair of the intelligence committee.

Two weeks out from a by-election in the federal seat of Eden-Monaro, the prime minister said the scandal raised questions around corruption and national security that ordinary Australians should consider.

"I am disappointed that the Labor Party is focused on themselves and fighting amongst themselves," he said.

"The treasurer and I and my government will keep fighting for jobs."

The prime minister accused Mr Albanese during Question Time of overseeing corruption, but was forced to withdraw after a terse exchange with Speaker Tony Smith.

Mr Byrne is also feeling the heat over text messages his leader described as "completely unacceptable and inappropriate".

The texts, which were made public after Mr Byrne agreed to help corruption investigators looking into the Victorian saga, included various profanities and disparaging remarks about Labor colleagues.

"I've counselled Mr Byrne about his language and the inappropriateness of those comments," Mr Albanese said.

"I also discussed and sought an assurance from him that he had advice, which he has, that he has acted legally at all times."

Mr Byrne said he has been in touch with authorities to offer his assistance with their investigation into estranged ally Mr Somyurek.

"Somyurek has selectively released a hand-picked selection of my text messages to him sent over two years just hours after I made a public statement that I had contacted authorities and would assist with their corruption investigations into him. That speaks for itself," he told AAP.

"In respect of the misinformation circulating, I want to make clear that I take the matters raised recently seriously and have been in touch with authorities to offer my full assistance.

"I welcome investigations into corruption, which has no place in the party I love."