Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been forced to apologise to News Corp after embarrassingly and insensitively using an alleged workplace harassment complaint made against them as a political weapon.
Morrison took to Facebook overnight to issue a lengthy apology, retracting his incorrect claims.
“In the course of today’s media conference when responding to further questions I deeply regret my insensitive response to a question from a News Ltd journalist by making an anonymous reference to an incident at News Ltd that has been rejected by the company,” he wrote.
“I accept their account. I was wrong to raise it, the emotion of the moment is no excuse.”
Earlier today I shared with Australians my profound regret and deep disappointment as I acknowledged the terrible…
“I especially wish to apologise to the individual at the centre of the incident and others directly impacted. I had no right to raise this issue and especially without their permission,” Morrison added.
“What matters now is doing everything in my authority to take the actions that are needed to fix the culture in our Parliament and work to make Australia a safer place for women.”
The apology comes after Morrison tried to weaponise a woman’s alleged sexual harassment claim to deflect after Sky News (owned by News Corp Australia) journalist Andrew Clennell asked him if he had lost control of his ministers.
“You’d be aware that in your own organisation that there is a person who has had a complaint made against them for harassment of a woman in a women’s toilet, and that matter is being pursued by your own HR department,” Morrison said in the press conference.
“You are not aware of it. So let’s not, all of us who sit in glass houses here, start getting into that,” he added when Clennell said he wasn’t aware of such a complaint.
Following Tuesday’s press conference News Corp chairman Michael Miller clarified the truth of the matter, explaining that there was a discussion between two employees last year. However, it was “about a workplace-related issue, it was not of a sexual nature, it did not take place in a toilet and neither person made a complaint.”
“The Prime Minister appears to have joined these two matters and conflated them into an episode of harassment in a toilet that is under current investigation,” Miller said.
“This is simply untrue and it undermines the principle that people must be able to raise issues safely and in confidence.”
Despite royally fucking this one up and – to his knowledge – outing an alleged sexual harassment victim, Morrison is still standing by the other comments he made in the presser, including that he has “listened” to women and is committed to being better.
With all due respect, Prime Minister, I’ll believe it when I see it.