Scott Morrison says he did not ask Liberal preselectors in 2007 to vote against Michael Towke due to his Lebanese heritage

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has denied explosive allegations that have emerged about his behavior while fighting for Liberal preselection in 2007.

Two media organizations have reported on the contents of statutory declarations signed by two men, which detail Mr Morrison’s battle to be preselected for the seat of Cook ahead of rival Michael Towke.

The issue flared on Tuesday night when Liberal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells told the Senate Mr Morrison was not “fit to be Prime Minister”.

“Morrison might profess to be Christian, but there was nothing Christian about what was done to Michael Towke,” she told the Senate in a fiery late-night speech.

Senator Fierravanti-Wells told the Upper House she had been told of “several statutory declarations to attest to racial comments made by Morrison at the time that we can’t have a Lebanese person in Cook”.

The Saturday Paper and the Sydney Morning Herald have reported details of statutory declarations signed in 2016, including Michael Towke who reportedly said: “They informed me that Morrison was appealing with them to not support me based solely on the rationale that my family heritage was Lebanese .”

The claims date back to before Mr Morrison was an MP.(ABC News)

“He was adamant and explicit that a candidate of Lebanese heritage could not hold the seat of Cook, especially after the Cronulla riots.”

Another declaration reported in the Sydney Morning Herald said Liberal Party member Scott Chapman wrote that “Scott Morrison told me that, if Michael Towke were to be preselected, there would be a ‘swing against the Liberal Party in Cook’ because of Mr Towke’s Lebanese background ‘.”

The ABC has not been able to verify those documents and earlier today when questioned about the claims, Mr Morrison rejected them.


Leave a Comment