Barnaby Joyce’s Resignation Rejected by PM; Victoria Reports 41 C0VID Deaths, QLD 21 and NSW 18; Anti-Vaxxers Protest in Canberra
By Graham Readfearn and Caitlin Cassidy
Joyce is asked if things will be awkward in parliament next week with the PM, and whether the text will damage the upcoming election campaign.
Obviously you’d say that the optics of it is for others to decide. But no, the first call I made on becoming aware of this text becoming public was to the prime minister.
I think that the election campaign will be based on a clear decision. It’s going to be the Nationals and the Liberals in a working relationship, or the Greens and Labor in a working relationship. And the Australian people will make that decision on whether they want the Greens and Labor running the country, or they want the Liberals and the Nationals running the country.
And off he goes.
Joyce says the PM has honoured “every agreement” he’s had with him, which is why he trusts him, despite calling him a liar as a backbencher.
Asked if the text will be damaging to the prime minister, particularly on a week he has also been described as “horrible, horrible”, Joyce says well, of course:
Obviously, you wouldn’t be apologising for it if you didn’t think that there was something wrong with it. But what you have to do is make amends for it. So you don’t apologise for things that you don’t think cause harm.
Should people trust the PM?
“Yes,” Joyce says, “they should”.
You should always base something on fact. And I base that on the fact that in the most difficult of times, the pandemic, the geopolitical situation that Australia is in in our region of the world, in negotiations with the Coalition, he’s showed competency, and also he’s honoured every agreement. Every agreement that I’ve had with him. There’s not one word of it that he hasn’t stuck to.
A reporter asks what the comments – that he was a “hypocrite” and a “liar” – were about specifically.
Joyce says “whatever it is was, was wrong” because it was never from a conversation he had with the PM.
I was never in a job that I had a conversation with the prime minister at that stage. So what you’re basing it on is based on what you read in the paper. And what you read in the paper, you know better than I do.
Does he trust Scott Morrison now?
“Yes,” Joyce says, “I do”.
Barnaby Joyce says text calling Scott Morrison a liar was ‘based on assumptions – not fact’