16 Aug 2017

Julie Bishop slamming Labour was 'bonkers' - Adam Gartrell

From Morning Report, 7:15 am on 16 August 2017

The Australian journalist who broke the story of Barnaby Joyce's dual citizenship says Julie Bishop's criticisms of the Labour Party were "bonkers" and Jacinda Ardern is within her rights to feel miffed.

Sydney Morning Herald political correspondent Adam Gartrell joins us to lay out the timeline of what happened. He says he told the Australian government of the story he was going to publish and asked for a response.

"Of course we now know there was a lot going on behind the scenes while I was waiting for that response. It seems first of all that someone - a Labor staffer over here was getting in touch with one of your MPs and trying to get some legal clarity around the citizenship laws.

"Also the NZ High Commissioner here was paying a visit to Barnaby Joyce and telling him that he might have a problem."

Mr Gartell says it he thinks it was a silly move for Australia's Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop to criticise New Zealand's Labour Party.

"I think it shows the government is desperate. 

"Last year when Bill Shorten made some comments about Donald Trump... the government was absolutely savage about intervening into an ally's election, and that is precisely what Julie Bishop did."