Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says cabinet minister ‘absolutely rejects’ rape allegation

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Mar 01, 2021, 01.09 PM(IST)

Australian PM Scott Morrison Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Morrison stood by an unnamed Cabinet minister against calls for him to step down from office over an allegation that he raped a 16-year-old girl more than 30 years ago.

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday said that a cabinet minister accused of raping a teenage girl in the 1980s “absolutely rejects” the allegations.

"I had a discussion with the Commissioner last week, about these matters, and I also had a discussion with the secretary of the department of prime minister and cabinet, and the deputy secretary, about these issues and I had a discussion with the individual, as I said, who absolutely rejects these allegations. And so after having spoken to the commissioner and to the secretary and deputy secretary of my department at this stage, there are no matters that require my immediate attention," said Australian PM. 

Morrison stood by an unnamed Cabinet minister against calls for him to step down from office over an allegation that he raped a 16-year-old girl more than 30 years ago.

The allegation has created a cloud hanging over the 16 men in Morrison's 22-minister Cabinet and feeds complaints of a culture within Parliament that is toxic for women.

The allegation was contained in an anonymous letter sent to the prime minister's office and to three female lawmakers last week.

"It is the police, in a country where you're governed by the rule of law, that determine the veracity of any allegations of this nature. It is the police. In my office, I do not have the people or others who are trained or competent or authorized to investigate matters of this nature. The police are the ones who do that and the police have had this matter referred to them. The individual involved here has vigorously rejected these allegations and so, it's a matter for the police. And in my discussions with the commissioner, there was nothing immediate that he considered that was necessary for me to take any action on. Now, these are very distressing issues that have been raised, as there are other issues that have been raised in relation to other members in other cases. But the proper place for that to be dealt is by the authorities, which are the police. That's how our country operates and that system protects all Australians," he said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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