Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said Waleed Aly’s allegations that he suggested using an anti-Muslim agenda to the Coalition’s advantage are a “disgusting smear and an appalling lie”, yet he will not be suing Aly or 10 over the comment.
Following the Christchurch terror attacks, in an emotional plea on The Project, Aly suggested in 2011 Morrison told a Coalition frontbench meeting the then-opposition should tap into anti-Muslim sentiment.
Morrison, who denies the reports, told ABC News that Aly’s comment were a “disgusting smear and an appalling lie”.
He said: “It’s [an] ugly and disgusting lie and I reject it absolutely.
“Over the last decade, I have spent my time as a public figure working with the Muslim community in south-western NSW.
“I have walked the Kokoda Track with my Muslim brothers and sisters … I have organised, together with my good friend Jason Clare, similar visits to Turkey for the centenary of ANZAC.
“That’s why I’m welcomed when I attend mosques in south-western Sydney with warm embraces”.
.@mjrowland68: "Did you, in a shadow cabinet meeting in 2010, urge the Coalition to capitalise on anti-Muslim sentiment for political purposes?”@ScottMorrisonMP: “Absolutely not. It is a disgraceful smear and an appalling lie.” #auspol pic.twitter.com/MJ5CtBSPhS
— News Breakfast (@BreakfastNews) March 19, 2019
The then-owned Fairfax in 2011 reported that then-PM, Tony Abbott’s immigration spokesman, told a shadow cabinet meeting the Coalition should use prejudice against Muslims to their advantage, but Morrison and other Coalition frontbenchers have always denied those reports.
Aly brought up the reports in his viral monologue on The Project following the Christchurch attacks last week.
It was then reported that Morrison planned to sue Aly and 10, yet he told ABC News today he had “no intention of doing that”, adding, “I just want people to report the truth”.