Anthony Albanese denies he colluded with Brittany Higgins and Lisa Wilkinson over rape allegations 

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Anthony Albanese denies he colluded with Brittany Higgins and Lisa Wilkinson over rape allegations 

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has denied he colluded with Brittany Higgins or Lisa Wilkinson when he was Leader of the Opposition.Mr Albanese and fe

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Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has denied he colluded with Brittany Higgins or Lisa Wilkinson when he was Leader of the Opposition.

Mr Albanese and fellow Labor heavyweight Tanya Plibersek were named by Wilkinson during a five-hour lunch with Ms Higgins, her partner David Sharaz, and Channel 10 producer Angus Llewellyn, in January, 2021.

The meeting took place before Ms Higgins’ bombshell interview on The Project on February 15, 2021. 

An audio recording of the lunch was aired during a 7News Spotlight interview with Bruce Lehrmann on Sunday night. 

Ms Higgins alleges she was raped by Mr Lehrmann in Parliament House after a night out in 2019. Mr Lehrmann has always maintained his innocence.

During the lunch, Wilkinson claimed Mr Albanese and Ms Plibersek were ‘friendly MPs’ who ‘could fire questions in Question Time’ regarding the rape allegations.

Anthony Albanese (pictured) has denied he colluded with Lisa Wilkinson or Brittany Higgins when he was Leader of the Opposition after Wilkinson named him in an audio recording

Anthony Albanese (pictured) has denied he colluded with Lisa Wilkinson or Brittany Higgins when he was Leader of the Opposition after Wilkinson named him in an audio recording

When asked about whether Wilkinson or Ms Higgins approached him to publicise the allegations, Mr Albanese said ‘no’. 

The ex-Project host on Tuesday also denied approaching Labor politicians to ask questions in Parliament about the case.

She told The Australian that she did not ‘speak to any other politicians, their minders or apparatchiks’. 

Ms Plibersek also rejected any assertion that Wilkinson or Ms Higgins contacted her or told her what to ask in Question Time during an interview with Sunrise presenter Natalie Barr on Monday. 

‘No, not by then, but I was in contact with Brittany to check on her welfare,’ the Environment Minister said.

‘I was very worried about her, I was very worried about her indeed.’

Barr continued to press Ms Plibersek, asking whether Ms Higgins approached her to raise the topic in Question Time.

‘Nobody tells me what to ask in question time,’ she responded.

‘I don’t recall anything like that. She’s a very upset and fragile young woman that I was checking on, that’s my involvement here.’

But Mr Albanese and Ms Plibersek did raise five questions about Ms Higgins in Question Time just one day after The Project interview aired. 

Wilkinson (left) named Mr Albanese and Ms Plibersek as 'friendly MPs' who 'could fire questions in Question Time' regarding the rape allegations brought forward by Ms Higgins (right)

Wilkinson (left) named Mr Albanese and Ms Plibersek as ‘friendly MPs’ who ‘could fire questions in Question Time’ regarding the rape allegations brought forward by Ms Higgins (right)

Mr Albanese first asked if Mr Morrison would establish an external review into the culture within Parliament House in the wake of Ms Higgins’ claims.

Six minutes later, Ms Plibersek made the first direct reference to Ms Higgins. She said: ‘When and how did the Prime Minister first become aware of the reported sexual assault of Brittany Higgins?’

Mr Morrison fumbled his way through his answer, insisting he became aware of the allegations the morning of The Project’s report, and that his office knew of the complaint just days earlier.

But Ms Plibersek doubted his claims, noting in a second question that he had contradicted Ms Higgins’ version of events, which stated the PM’s private secretary was told of the alleged assault in 2019.

Mr Morrison attempted to skirt around the issue by quoting Ms Higgins herself, who had earlier in the day asked for her ‘privacy to be respected’ as she ‘began to emotionally recover’.

Ms Higgins’ statement said she wished to make no further comment on the allegations.

The PM said: ‘I will be complying with that request, and we will be seeking to pursue this matter through the mechanisms that I’ve already announced today and also potentially through the other mechanisms that have been suggested.’

Mr Albanese asked Mr Morrison a total of 18 questions about his government’s handling of the case over a period of three months after the allegations were publicised. 

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

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