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Australia politics live: Peter Dutton defends decision not to tell PM about rape allegation

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11.22pm GMT

The prime minister’s international women’s day speech included a new three word phrase – “respect, protect, reflect”.

Scott Morrison:

This has been a very traumatic few weeks for the people who work in this place, but even more traumatic, obviously, for those who are the subject of those issues. So I just wanted to share with you my own personal thoughts about the very issue that brings us here together today, and that is women.

The three points I want to make to you today are about respect, protect and reflect, but even more traumatic, obviously, for those who are the subject of those issues. So, I just wanted to share with you my own personal thoughts about the very issue that brings us here together today. And that is women.

11.11pm GMT

Q: Still so many questions over who knew what, when, and how it’s possible and plausible that the prime minister didn’t know before this allegation of rape inside Parliament House became public. We know now, of course, that Linda Reynolds, the defence minister, is on leave on the advice of her cardiologist and we hope that she’s OK. That, of course, she is in good care and recovering from whatever it is that is plaguing her at the moment.

But I wonder your thoughts on this: should she have told the PM about Brittany Higgins’ allegations before they were made public? Did she drop the ball?

Well I think that the first point is an important one; that is that we want Linda to get well soon. I mean these are high-pressure jobs that we’re all in and Linda had a pre-existing medical condition as we know and the pressure obviously has exacerbated that. And she’s a human being. We want her to get well.

When you look at what Linda has done in relation to this matter, she has provided every assistance that she possibly could …

I understand what Linda has said. I understand the support that was provided.

Brittany’s made a decision yesterday to make a formal complaint to the Australian federal police and I honestly believe that the rule of law applies here. There is now a process to go through. It’s more salacious because it’s Parliament House, but in relation to any crime or sexual offence in particular, the police need to do their job.

Continue reading… Source: The Guardian: Australia politics live: Peter Dutton defends decision not to tell PM about rape allegation ———