Former Coalition staffer and alleged rape victim Brittany Higgins has now lodged a formal complaint with the prime minister, accusing his office of “backgrounding” against her partner.
In an ABC radio interview, Scott Morrison said the issue hadn’t been raised with him personally.
“Nothing has been raised with my office from anyone in the gallery making any of those accusations or any discomfort about anything that my office has done,” he said.
In response, Ms Higgins wrote to Mr Morrison’s chief of staff, claiming journalists told her the backgrounding had happened and she wanted to lodge a complaint.
“I believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt,” she wrote.
“It is entirely plausible the Prime Minister did not know that this was happening, however the more relevant point is that it did occur.”
Ms Higgins also asked to give evidence as part of a review into who in Mr Morrison’s office knew about her alleged rape at Parliament House in 2019, and when they found out.
A review by Mr Morrison’s department head Phil Gaetjens was paused on March 9, after concerns were raised by the AFP commissioner about it conflicting with a police investigation.
“It is my express desire to present my evidence to Mr Gaetjens at the appropriate time once the review recommences,” Ms Higgins said.
Backgrounding is the practice of sharing information to the media that can be published but without attribution.
Mr Morrison told parliament he will respond to the formal complaint lodged by Ms Higgins today.
“I have seen and received that correspondence and I will be responding to Brittany Higgins in the course of today,” Mr Morrison said.