Coalition Senator Eric Abetz says he knows who is leaking from the inside of the Liberal Party after reports surfaced this morning of an internal bust up.
Reports emerged on Thursday of a split at the top of the federal Liberal Party, with Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and his deputy Julie Bishop reportedly at loggerheads over plans to defer an overseas aid program, AAP reported.
The coalition on Tuesday announced plans to shelve AusAID’s $448 million Australia-Indonesia Education Partnership, a program designed to help counter Islamic extremism.
The money would instead go to domestic natural disaster relief.
Ms Bishop was reportedly upset the program had been deferred and became embroiled in a late-night argument with Mr Abbott over the issue, The Australian newspaper reported on Thursday.
Fairfax newspapers also reported the pair had a spat.
But they said a “fuming” Ms Bishop “stormed” into the opposition leader’s office on Wednesday morning after reading in a newspaper an implication that she was behind the proposal to defer the program.
Fairfax reported Ms Bishop, who is also the Opposition’s foreign affairs spokeswoman, had been vehemently opposed to any cuts to foreign aid budgets during shadow cabinet discussions.
Abetz told journalistss one or two people are speaking to the press, the ABC reported.
“I think we all know who the leakers are and as happens with leakers they carry neither the respect of their colleagues nor, if I might say, of your profession,” the ABC quoted him as saying.
“People who leak are people who cannot be trusted.”