Conroy admonished over sovereign borders cover-up accusation

LABOR'S Defence spokesman Stephen Conroy has been officially admonished by the House of Representatives for accusing a three-star General of engaging in a political cover-up.

Senator Conroy on Tuesday alleged General Angus Campbell, the head of the Abbott Government's Operation Sovereign Borders of engaging in a "political cover-up".

While Sen Conroy formally withdrew the comments late on Tuesday night, the senior Labor frontbencher later said "the only people who should apologise is the government".

He said the Abbott Government should have apologised to the Australian people for "the secrecy" surrounding the operation, and accused Immigration Minister Scott Morrison of "misleading the people".

After a heated Question Time on Wednesday, former Defence officer and Tasmanian crossbencher MP Andrew Wilkie formally moved a motion to "admonish" Sen Conroy for his comments.

The motion sparked a fiery exchange on the floor of the House, with Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke further accusing Speaker Bronwyn Bishop of behaving improperly in the role.

"Madame Speaker, no speaker in the history of this parliament has behaved the way you are behaving now," Mr Burke said.

The Speaker then removed Mr Burke from the chamber, on grounds of reflecting on the Chair in an effort to continue parliament.


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