Anthony Albanese said These are historic rape allegations against a current government minister It is a “test” for Scott Morrison, who must satisfy himself and it is appropriate for the man to continue in his current position.
While agreeing that the police are the best to investigate the sexual assault complaint, which allegedly occurred in 1988, the Labor leader argued Sunday that Morrison should “separately reassure himself … the current cabinet formation can continue.”
Leader of the Green Party, Adam Pandt, He went further by urging an independent investigation of the prosecution, citing the important nationwide “position of the accused” and the potential difficulties in bringing prosecution.
The prime minister has so far refused phone calls, and his office has stressed instead that ministerial standards only require the minister to step down if they become “the subject of a formal investigation into allegations of illegal or inappropriate behavior.”
The claim was first revealed by Four Pillars on ABC on Friday, after the Labor leader in the Senate, Benny WongGreen Party Senator Sarah Hanson Young confirmed that they received a letter with the complaint from a woman who committed suicide in July and referred her to the police.
The government is also under pressure due to the lack of independence of its audit Alleged rape of employee Brittany Higgins in Linda Reynolds office. Treasurer Josh Freidenberg said the defense secretary is eager to get back to work and that she still maintains Morrison’s confidence, despite Failure to inform him of the allegation.
Albanese told ABC insiders that the allegations of sexual assault against a cabinet minister should be investigated by the authorities, but nonetheless would be a “dark cloud for Parliament and the government”.
Albanese said that Wong, who had met the complainant in November 2019, had “acted appropriately” by facilitating her access to rape support services and verifying that she had support to report the allegation to the police. Wong also contacted South Australian Police to provide assistance for the coronavirus investigation following the complainant’s death in July.
Albanese sympathized with the woman’s family and friends. “This is a tragedy, and the current debate, as we are discussing it, will further harm these people,” he said.
We need to make sure – these are serious allegations – that they are properly investigated and that these cases are not being managed politically.
“This is a real test, and the prime minister must assure himself that it remains the case that the minister, the subject of these allegations, is appropriate for him to remain in his current position.”
Albanese said he is not seeking to politicize the issue, but that the Australian people will seek “the common decency to shine here” and find a solution to the issue. “This cannot just remain in the current situation where it is.”
Albanese refused to say how he would deal with a similar allegation against the Labor vice president, arguing that this was hypothetical.
Handling Higgins’ complaint demonstrated the need for “adequate reporting processes” in Parliament, “including the ability to report cases independently and away from the people responsible for running the offices,” he said.
Albanese said that the Prime Minister’s office’s handling of Higgins’s complaint was “absurd” by the department’s secretary, Phil Gates, former chief of Morrison’s cabinet.
In a statement, Pandt said the allegations of rape against a government minister were “extremely serious and appalling” and “should be investigated as fully as possible.”
He pointed out that the circumstances of this case and the possible difficulties in following up the case mean that the Prime Minister cannot wait for the police investigation alone, calling for “an independent investigation to determine whether this minister is suitable to be in his government.”
“If the prime minister does not stand aside at least while he is conducting his own investigation, he sends a horrific message that there is room in his government for someone with an unresolved rape charge.”
A spokesman for the prime minister on Friday cited the advice of Agence France-Presse that “informing the police is the way to ensure that any alleged crimes are properly investigated.”
They refused to answer more questions about historical rape allegations, citing a warning by Agence France-Presse Commissioner Reyes Kershaw that “choosing to transmit or publish the allegations through other means, such as the media or third parties, may harm any subsequent police investigation.”