‘Bin-fire’: Lisa’s epic PM take-down
It's been a detrimental two months for the federal government, and Lisa Wilkinson has certainly had a lot to say about it.
On Sunday night, The Project co-host was perhaps the most outspoken yet, following multiple allegations of misconduct against Liberal MP Andrew Laming.
Dr Laming has taken medical leave after being accused of taking a photograph of a woman bending over to fill a fridge with soft drinks - without her consent - and abusing two women online to the point that one considered suicide.
Dr Laming has strenuously denied the allegations.
Earlier, Dr Laming's resignation was announced without his consent by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg in a sign of fractured relations with the Liberal Party.
In further signs, Liberal Senator Sarah Henderson and Liberal MP Katie Allen told Insiders on Sunday morning that Dr Laming should quit politics.
"I'm not comfortable with the conduct and I hope that Andrew makes the right decision. I do," Senator Henderson told the ABC.
Opposition leader Anthony Albanese says Dr Laming should quit now and not wait until the next election.
On the Sunday Project, a clearly fed up Wilkinson opened the story saying: "One of the coalition's scandal-ridden MPs is stepping away from politics, and the fact we even need to specify which one it is shows how dire things are for the government … Good point Lisa," she said.
Wilkinson then turned her aim at prime minister Scott Morrison, who ordered Dr Laming undergo "empathy training" to "build understanding and awareness" around his behaviour.
"Let's hope whoever is in charge of Laming's empathy training isn't the same team in charge of Scott Morrison's empathy training because we all know the tax payer funded bin-fire that's turned out to be," Wilkinson said.
Earlier, Labor leader Anthony Albanese said during a press conference that Laming should quit immediately.
Attorney-General Porter is facing calls to stand down after he revealed himself as the subject of a historical rape allegation from 1988, one which he strongly denies, while Senator Reynolds was forced to pay compensation to alleged rape victim Brittany Higgins for calling her a "lying cow" after she went public with claims she was raped by a fellow Liberal staffer in Ms Reynolds' parliamentary office in 2019.
"When it comes to this cabinet reshuffle that's supposedly being looked at in the next couple of days, surely Linda Reynolds and Christian Porter have got to be removed from that front bench," Wilkinson said.
One of the Coalition’s scandal-ridden MPs is stepping away from politics. Today Andrew Laming confirmed he will not contest the next election -- but will that be enough? pic.twitter.com/tpFGurzMMw— The Project (@theprojecttv) March 28, 2021
The Sunday Project co-host Peter van Onselen said he would "punt both of them".
"That might seem unfair to Christian Porter given he's denying the allegation but politics isn't always fair, it's about a lot more than that," PVO began.
"The simple fact is this government is bleeding from a gushing open wound, and pushing him onto the backbench, and the same with Linda Reynolds, frees up spots for more women, and in Linda Reynolds' case, a woman that hasn't perhaps called an alleged rape victim a lying cow.
"Both of them out of the road would be what Scott Morrison needs to show that everything he says he wants to do by way of action is more than just words, but it has action to follow."
PVO then called out Mr Morrison for his supposed double standards after he urged ex Australia Post CEO Christine Holgate to stand down in October last year for purchasing $3000 Cartier watches as bonuses for executives.
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"(Christine) was howled down by the prime minister in parliament and pushed aside like that," PVO said.
"These are much more serious allegations, much more serious admitted to actions in the case of the other Minister (Reynolds)."
Wilkinson said, "The thing is, Christine Holgate is a woman and Christian Porter is a man. There's your difference right there."
Wilkinson has been a powerful advocate amid the trail of controversies engulfing parliament this year. More recently, the TV veteran attended the March4Justice protest at Parliament House in Canberra where she introduced Ms Higgins to the crowd prior to her speech.
"Brittany Higgins will not be silenced," Wilkinson said. "What has left me in awe is the way this country has responded to this story. Finally we are having the conversations we have been aching to have for far too long."
Originally published as 'Bin-fire': Lisa's epic PM take-down