Entertainment TV Julia Banks refuses to name and shame Liberal bullies on Q&A

Julia Banks refuses to name and shame Liberal bullies on Q&A

Julia Banks Q&A
Ms Banks cited bullying from colleagues when she quit the Liberal Party last year. Photo: AAP
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Independent MP Julia Banks has refused to name the former Liberal colleagues she accused of bullying and intimidation when she sensationally quit the party last year.

Under questioning from a member of the public on the ABC’s first edition of Q&A in Monday night, Ms Banks was asked if and when she would name and shame the “bullies” in Parliament House.

“When you left the Liberal Party, one of the reasons you gave was because of bullying,” the questioner said.

“We in the electorate need to know who the bullies are. When are you going to call out and identify the bullies in the government?”

Ms Banks defected from the Coalition in November, months after complaining of tactics used by members of the Liberals during the August coup that removed Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister.

But Ms Banks declined the opportunity to expand on her allegations on Q&A, saying it would only offer the Liberals to engage in a slanging match.

“When I made my first announcement, I made it very, very clear … that it was an entrenched culture of anti-women within the Liberal Party which I had experienced from almost, from, since my preselection in 2015,” she responded.

“Yes, the leadership coup week was intense, but it is an entrenched culture there.

“And my position is that I’m not going to name the bullies because that will just give the Liberal Party opportunity to start talking about themselves and ‘he said, she said’ and name calling and all the rest of it.”

Allegations have persisted in Canberra since the leadership spill that that some Liberal MPs threatened preselections and future promotions to influence colleagues to vote against Mr Turnbull.

Elected as a Liberal in the seat of Chisolm, Ms Banks last week announced her intention of running against Health Minister, and leadership coup plotter, Greg Hunt as an independent in the nearby seat of Flinders.

Ms Banks said those wanting to know the ins and outs of the Liberal leadership spill would likely have their questions answered after the May federal election.

“I’m not going to get into the sort of cross list of who said what to who,” she said.

“I think we should wait until the release — I’m sure there’s a lot of books that are going to be published after the election. Let’s wait till that.”

While she declined to publicly name her bullies, Ms Banks asserted that problems of culture within the Liberal Party were well documented.

“During that week I wasn’t the only woman who spoke out,” she said.

“We had Linda Reynolds speak in the Senate, that she witnessed and observed behaviour that she didn’t recognise, and then she went quiet when she was promoted to being a minister.

“We had Kelly O’Dwyer speaking on 7.30, we had Lucy Gichuhi saying it … we even had the Prime Minister himself talk about bullying in Gilmore.”

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