Former National Party leader Barnaby Joyce has shared his thoughts on trial by media and what needs to happen next for Christian Porter to keep his job.
Former National party leader Barnaby Joyce has called for an inquiry into allegations levelled against the Attorney-General instead of a “salacious” inquisition.
“Christian Porter may not want an independent inquiry but he has got one by default. A demeaning, cathartic inquisition by the press and Opposition,” Mr Joyce wrote in a lengthy social media post on Saturday.
The call comes after Mr Porter publicly denied allegations he raped a 16-year-old girl during a debate competition at the University of Sydney in 1988, when he was 17.
The Nationals MP called for a “confidential” inquiry into the allegations levelled at the country’s chief law officer.
Mr Joyce said the media coverage achieved little “beyond ratings as salacious dissonance” and did not offer solace to any party involved.
It would be a more dignified and appropriate alternative for an “emotive and serious allegation”, he wrote.
“Otherwise the current vacuum may hang like fog all the way through the rest of a quite remarkable career.”
The former deputy Prime Minister referenced allegations he faced from a WA woman in the post and said he would have liked to run “at the speed of a thousand gazelles” to an independent arbiter if he could have.
“There wasn’t one, so I stood down to “clear the air” as I stated at my resignation press conference,” Mr Joyce said.
In 2018 a woman made a formal complaint against Mr Joyce to the National Party in relation to sexual harassment allegations.
The complaint was leaked to the media against the woman’s wishes at the time and Mr Joyce later resigned labelling the allegations as “the straw that broke the camel’s back”.
The MP also took aim at his Coalition colleagues in the post.
“I don’t want Christian to end up sitting at the back of the chamber under the exit sign where my colleagues have kindly placed me,” Mr Joyce wrote.
He said Mr Porter would know many in the opposition and some in his own party wouldn’t want the truth unless it came with “his head on a plate”.
On Wednesday the Attorney-General broke his silence about the rape allegations at a press conference in Perth, and denied any wrongdoing.
He spoke after police in NSW said there was “insufficient admissible evidence” to go ahead with an investigation into the claims.
The claims came to light after an anonymous letter was sent to the Prime Minister, Labor Senator Penny Wong and Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.
The woman at the centre of the claims made a report to the police in 2019, however did not complete her formal statement and took her own life at Adelaide in June 2020.