Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has come clean about the events which took place in the weeks before his political ousting.
Appearing on last night’s episode of ABC’s Q&A, Turnbull addressed the now infamous conversation between News Corp executive chairman Rupert Murdoch and Seven Network chairman Kerry Stokes which lead to his demise.
During the episode, Turnbull admitted he was told Murdoch said: “Malcolm’s got to go” prior Turnbull getting kicked out of Canberra.
Turnbull added it was Stokes who told him what Murdoch had said.
Speaking on the incident, Turnbull said: “Kerry Stokes, he’s given an account of this conversation to many people, he said to Rupert: ‘That’s crazy, Malcolm’s doing well in the polls, he’s way ahead of Bill Shorten.
“Why would you want Bill Shorten to be prime minister?”
He went on: “According to Kerry, Rupert said, ‘Oh, well, three years of Labor wouldn’t be so bad.’ I can’t work that out. I can’t explain that.”
“I can’t work that out. I can’t explain that.”
Adding more fuel to the fire, Turnbull also said he had spoken to Murdoch about the negative coverage of his prime ministership in the week leading up to the spill.
According to the former PM, Murdoch responded: “He said it was really Lachlan’s responsibility, but he’s always said words to that effect in recent years. I’m not suggesting that isn’t right.”
Stokes’ involvement in Turnbull’s ousting remained unclear, with the media mogul releasing a statement in late Septemeber addressing the claims.
In the statement, Stokes claimed he had “Absolutely nothing, full stop” to do with the leadership spill.
Despite Turnbull’s admission last night, Stokes also said in his statement: “I have never received a text from Rupert Murdoch on this or any matter. I don’t think he has my number nor I his.”
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