Aussie PM labels critics as 'conspiracy theorists' as finance minister doubles down despite evidence

Anthony Albanese continues to back embattled Finance Minister Katy Gallagher amid mounting criticism regarding her knowledge of Brittany Higgins' rape allegation.

Aussie PM labels critics as 'conspiracy theorists' as finance minister doubles down despite evidence
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Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has reiterated his unwavering support for Finance Minister Katy Gallagher, going as far as to label those questioning her claims as conspiracy theorists.

Gallagher has come under fire from the Coalition regarding her awareness of the Brittany Higgins' rape allegation prior to its public disclosure.

Accusations have been made that she misled Parliament when she clearly stated in June 2021 that "no one had any knowledge" of the allegations. However, leaked text messages have recently emerged, indicating that she had knowledge of the claims at least four days before they were made public.

The leaked text messages exchanged between Higgins and her partner, David Sharaz, suggest that Gallagher showed interest in the story and was provided with an early transcript of The Project interview.

Despite these revelations, Gallagher has vehemently denied any wrongdoing, arguing that her statement in the Senate was in response to claims made by Linda Reynolds, who alleged that Gallagher had known about the allegations two weeks before their public airing in February 2021.

Today in Parliament, Gallagher read a prepared statement, continuing to deny any wrongdoing.

In a press conference on Tuesday, Prime Minister Albanese dismissed the attacks on Gallagher as "absurd" and the desperate attempts of the Opposition.

He defended her actions, stating, "Katy Gallagher has been transparent." During an interview on ABC Radio Sydney, Mr. Albanese expressed his frustration, saying:

"We are talking about an alleged incident... an alleged rape that occurred in 2019 in a Liberal minister's office involving two Liberal staff members. And somehow Katy Gallagher is being held responsible for..."

Interrupting the Prime Minister, host James Valentine redirected the question to focus on what Gallagher knew and when.

Albanese responded sharply, urging listeners to review the footage, and emphasised that the claims made against Gallagher were baseless conspiracy theories.

He stated:

"Linda Reynolds mentioned that she knew weeks ago, that she was told about it weeks ago... she was told that there would be a conspiracy that Labor was planning this. And that's simply not true. It's a peculiar conspiracy theory that suggests Labor is somehow at the center of all of this."

While Gallagher has acknowledged having knowledge of the allegations prior to their public disclosure, she firmly denies any wrongdoing.

She clarified her position, stating:

"I was aware of some allegations in the days leading up to Ms. Brittany Higgins choosing to make those allegations public. Mr. Sharaz provided me with information, but I took no action based on that information, and I was clear about that at the time."

Furthermore, she countered Minister Reynolds' assertion that the issue had been known for weeks, stating:

"That is not true. It was never true."

As the controversy surrounding Finance Minister Katy Gallagher's knowledge of the Brittany Higgins' rape allegation continues to unfold, Albanese remains resolute in his support, describing the attacks against her as baseless and politically motivated despite both left and right-leaning media outlets now acknowledging that she may have misled parliament with her statements and has serious questions to answer.

The government faces mounting pressure to address the issue transparently and ensure accountability in handling such serious matters.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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