Over the past week, leaked text messages about Prime Minister Scott Morrison have dominated headlines. There are two separate text message exchanges that have been leaked.
Here is your two-minute explainer on what has happened.
On Friday night, it was revealed Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce called Scott Morrison ‘a hypocrite and a liar’ in text messages directed to former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins in March last year.
Joyce was a backbencher at the time (meaning he did not hold a ministerial role). The Deputy Prime Minister apologised to Morrison and said he offered his resignation, which Morrison rejected.
Former Nationals’ leader Michael McCormack told ABC on Monday morning Joyce “has some explaining to do”. Asked if Joyce should resign during a party room meeting today, McCormack said “that’s a matter for Barnaby”. He did add that he believes Joyce’s position is still tenable. McCormack also added that he would “seriously consider” the leadership position if it became vacant.
It comes after Channel 10 journalist Peter van Onselen first reported on leaked text messages between former NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and an unnamed Liberal Cabinet Minister.
In the texts, Berejiklian allegedly called Morrison a “horrible, horrible person” and said he was “more concerned with politics than people”. The Cabinet Minister responded in the text exchange saying Morrison was a “complete psycho”.
On Sunday night, former NSW Premier Bob Carr said Peter Dutton was the person who shared the text message with Peter van Onselen. He did not provide any evidence for this claim. Dutton responded, saying Bob Carr’s tweet was “baseless, untrue and should be deleted”.
So, how has the Prime Minister responded?
On Sunday, Morrison was asked why it appeared that his colleagues were turning against him.”I don’t believe that’s the case. And my record with my party members and my party in the parliament has been the most united Liberal Party and Coalition that we have seen,” he replied.