Current Location: Local Lifes   Local News   Scott Morrison responds to Brittany Higgins' formal complaint to Prime Minister's office

Scott Morrison responds to Brittany Higgins' formal complaint to Prime Minister's office

ASSA | 2021-03-26 09:41:46

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he is "taking very seriously" the formal complaint made by Brittany Higgins to his officer that her partner was being discredited to undermine her sexual assault allegations.

Mr Morrison, in an exclusive interview with A Current Affair host Tracy Grimshaw tonight, said he had received information from a source who witnessed the alleged briefing about Ms Higgins' partner, and it was now being dealt with.

"A direct source spoke directly to my chief of staff and it was a primary source … we're taking that very seriously and I'm following that through now," he said.

Mr Morrison said if backgrounding against Ms Higgins' partner had happened, it was not something he condoned.

He also said he never wanted Ms Higgins to leave her job in Parliament and acknowledged the light she had shone on the traumatic issues for woman broadly.

When asked why he had not spoken to Ms Higgins after more than a month since she went public with her allegations, Mr Morrison said he would be "pleased" to, but that she had not expressed an interest in speaking with him about something that was private.

Mr Morrison said it was "not something that I have been a party to" and blamed "processes" for the way Ms Higgins' complaints had been dealt with.

Grimshaw grilled Mr Morrison on Ms Higgins' experience after submitting her initial complaint.

"You don't need processes to know how to act humanely and with humanity to someone who has a human problem, surely," Grimshaw said.

Mr Morrison said he was upset that Ms Higgins "was alone as she became more traumatised" after not receiving the support she needed.

When asked why she was on her own and if she was abandoned, Mr Morrison said those who knew about her complaints didn't "pass the test" when it came to supporting her.

But he said he did not think the solution was for those people to lose their jobs.

"We have to fix this, but you don't have to tear things down to build things up," he said.

"The system's failed Brittany and they also failed those who were trying to help her."

Mr Morrison said he was glad it was now being spoken about and the alleged perpetrator was being investigated by police.