Tracy Grimshaw grills PM Scott Morrison in explosive interview

Brooke Rolfe
·News Reporter
·4-min read

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been forced to defend the government's handling of Brittany Higgins' rape allegation and the historic rape allegation against Christian Porter in a bombshell A Current Affair interview.

Host Tracy Grimshaw grilled the country's leader in Thursday evening's episode, questioning Mr Morrison about his reserved approach to serious allegations of sexual misconduct within Parliament House.

During the fiery interview, a frustrated Grimshaw also suggested Mr Morrison was in a "bubble" and didn't understand the depth of the issues facing Australian women on a daily basis.

Tracy Grimshaw interviews Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday's episode of A Current Affair.
Tracy Grimshaw grilled Prime Minister Scott Morrison about the violence and harrassment facing women, and the disturbing allegations that have emerged from Parliament House in recent weeks. Source: A Current Affair/Channel 9

The host appeared particularly disturbed when Mr Morrison commented that the severity of violence faced by women every day had only started to become more "crystallised in this past five weeks" since Ms Higgins came forward.

"Are you saying really that the enormity of this issue, that women deal with every single day, has only become apparent to you in the last month?" she asked.

Mr Morrison denied that, saying he was "doing everything I can to understand it as best I can".

Grimshaw pressed him further, requesting that he explain why he hadn't taken any action prior to the allegation made by Brittany Higgins.

"If you are saying you have been aware of the enormity of this issue preceding Brittany Higgins coming out a month ago..." Grimshaw began.

“At a different level, “ the prime minister interrupted. “This has taken me deeper into this issue than I’ve appreciated before.”

"Where have you been?" Grimshaw questioned.

Brittany Higgins breaks down as she talks about an alleged rape that took place in Parliament House.
Former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins alleges she was raped in a ministerial office inside Parliament House. Source: Channel 10

“I think that’s a bit unfair Tracy," Mr Morrison said. "Because I think there are many people across this country who - you lived with it everyday. You’ve lived with it, I’m sure you’re whole life you have.

"Women do. But you are not on an island, or maybe you are in a bubble. You must know, you have a wife, you have daughters, you have referenced them several times. How did you not know the depth of it?" Grimshaw argued.

The prime minister maintained that the case of Brittany Higgins had served as a "wake-up call", which had "taken me deeper into this issue than I have appreciated before".

"It hasn't been a wake-up call to 52% of Australians," Grimshaw hit back.

ScoMo denies 'political problem' handling of women's march

In reference to the Women's March for Justice, which took place outside Parliament House as well as capital cities across the county on Monday last week, Grimshaw questioned why Mr Morrison refused to attend.

"You said to them 'I will meet a couple of you on my turf, on my time, on my terms, or nothing'. And then you said, 'and my Minister for Women, she thinks what I think'," she said.

Mr Morrison maintained that he had never gone to a protest, and believed his offer to meet with a select few women to converse "behind closed doors" was a sufficient solution.

"Can't you make exceptions?" Grimshaw said.

Using Brittany Higgins' claim that her rape allegation was handled like a "political problem", she accused Mr Morrison of handling the march with the same approach.

He claimed he had "never looked at it in that way" and disagreed with her perspective.

PM 'automatically believed Christian Porter'

Grimshaw also accused Mr Morrison of immediately believing Attorney-General Christian Porter's claim of innocence following the emergence of a historical rape allegation involving a woman who last year took her own life.

Mr Morrison defended his position stating that "the police have decided that there is no further investigation".

"There really wasn't an investigation because his accuser died, she took her life. There really hasn't been an investigation. There has been no investigation, prime minister, you have just believed him," Grimshaw said.

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The prime minister again said he was merely "respecting the rule of law in this country" and revealed that both Mr Porter and Defence Minister Linda Reynolds would continue to "play a very important role in my cabinet".

Mr Porter is currently on mental health leave, while Ms Reynolds is on physical health leave.

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