Politicians respond to Turnbull’s High Court tweet

13 September 2018

Written by: Becky Steepe

The Prime Minister has rejected Turnbull's tweet.

Liberal Party politicians have been the first to respond to Malcom Turnbull’s tweet urging Peter Dutton to be referred to the High Court.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison responded to the tweet this morning, according to Nine News.
“[I have] respect for the former prime minister but as the prime minister now, I will make the decisions I believe are in the best interests of the nation,” he said.

Peter Dutton and Julie Bishop agreed it is a decision for Scott Morrison to make.

While addressing the press gallery, Bishop said that it is the responsibility of politicians to ensure that they are eligible to sit in parliament.

“If there’s a vote on the matter, well I’ll make my mind up at that time, but of course we want clarity around the standing of all the members of parliament,” she said.

Dutton has also responded, reminding people that while Turnbull was prime minister he was not concerned about his eligibility, according to the Guardian.

“Mr Turnbull never raised once with me any issue around section 44, his staff never asked me, [they] never asked for the legal advice which showed I had no problem at all,” he said.

Turnbull’s initial tweet came overnight from New York.

“The point I have made to @ScottMorrisonMP and other colleagues is that given the uncertainty around Peter Dutton’s eligibility, acknowledged by the Solicitor General, he should be referred to the High Court, as Barnaby was, to clarify the matter,” he wrote.

Dutton’s eligibility was questioned after it was revealed that his family childcare business could be in violation of Section 44.

While Turnbull was in power, Labor made a motion to refer Dutton to the High Court, but  it was voted down by the government.

Dutton has been a member of parliament since 2001, yet concerns about his wife’s childcare business did not surface until the leadership spill.


Photo: “malcolm_turnbull” by Trong Khiem Nguyen available here and used under a Creative Commons Attribution.