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Tuesday, 23 October 2018
Page: 10730

Liberal Party Leadership

Ms O'NEIL (Hotham) (14:34): My question is to the Prime Minister. Journalist David Speers has revealed that the now-Prime Minister's numbers men, who were recently rewarded with promotions to Assistant Treasurer and Special Minister of State, conspired to depose Malcolm Turnbull. Given this revelation, how can the Prime Minister stand by his previous statement in question time that he didn't seek to become Prime Minister?

Mr Pyne: Mr Speaker, other people's speculation, hypotheticals and imputations are not the responsibilities of the Prime Minister, and therefore he's not responsible for answering what either a journalist or a member of parliament says is their particular opinion about events of the past. These are not matters within the responsibility of the Prime Minister.

Mr Burke: To the point of order: the Prime Minister chose to put on the record in this House that he believes he has clean hands. If there's evidence challenging his statement, we should be allowed to ask about it.

Mr Shorten interjecting

The SPEAKER: The Leader of the Opposition is not assisting. Again, I think that question—

Mr Champion interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Wakefield, I don't know what you said, but it rarely matters. You can leave under 94(a).

Mr Champion interjecting

The SPEAKER: Yeah, you leave. I just remind him that the hour is a minimum. He can stay out longer if he wishes.

The member for Wakefield then left the chamber.

The SPEAKER: I still think that question does offend the point I've made about introducing a whole range of material. I'm not going to write the questions for the opposition but, clearly, if a question is tighter, it's got a much greater chance of being in order.