Barnaby Joyce raised further questions about his own integrity this morning by making more misleading statements over the Hansardgate affair.
In a press conference this morning he again misled the Australian people in at least four ways.
1. He said Dr Paul Grimes asked for his scathing letter to be withdrawn. There is no evidence of that. Indeed the attached copy of an email dated March 11, 2015 from Minister Joyce’s staffer to Dr Grimes shows otherwise:- “Good afternoon Dr Grimes – Consistent with a request from Minister Joyce this afternoon, I intend to delete this email now from the system”.
2. Minister Joyce said the special Senate Estimates hearing on March 5, 2015 requested by Dr Grimes produced nothing. This is not true. The hearing established the timeline of events. It revealed Dr Grimes visited Parliament House to appeal to the Minister to tidy up his mess. Minister Joyce then walked into the House of Representatives and hid behind defensive parliamentary tactics to avoid fessing up to his Hansard doctoring.
3. Minister Joyce tried to suggest the relationship breakdown was all about the pressure of developing the agriculture White Paper. No, the breakdown was all about Minister Joyce’s Hansard changes and the subsequent cover-up.
4. Minister Joyce says he had nothing to do with the sacking of Dr Grimes. Apparently it’s all someone else’s fault. We all know that Minister Joyce wanted Dr Grimes sacked because he was running interference on his cover-up efforts.
Minister Joyce is behaving like a typical bully. Backed into a corner, he thinks he can bully himself out and blame the victim.
Minister Joyce’s integrity is gone. But Malcolm Turnbull must move to restore the integrity of the Parliament and the reputation of Dr Grimes.
How can people have confidence in our parliamentary democracy when the Prime Minister sends the message that misleading the Parliament is no longer an offence?