Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has learnt a very important lesson – always double check a message before you press send.
(Oh, and maybe lay off the sledges…)
The Senior Minister is desperately backpedalling after “accidentally” sending a female journalist a message calling her a “witch”. Well, actually to be clear, he called her a “mad f***ing witch.”
The minister says he intended to send the message, received by Samantha Maiden, the political editor for News Limited Sunday papers, to former colleague Jamie Briggs who has stepped down after acting inappropriately towards a colleague while on an overseas trip.
Instead he got a little trigger-happy and sent the message to the “witch” herself.
The message was assumably prompted by a column Ms Maiden wrote yesterday on Mr Briggs’ behaviour in a Hong Kong bar.
Briggs, the Minister for Cities and the Built Environment, was forced to resign last week following a late-night incident involving a female public servant in a bar in Hong Kong during an official overseas visit in November.
The South Australian MP called a press conference to say the public servant took offence at his actions in the bar. On Saturday, an image of the public servant was printed in The Australian – an image taken from Mr. Briggs’ phone.
Ms Maiden wrote in her column yesterday:
“Last week Briggs said he didn’t want to name the woman because he was protecting her privacy.
Today, we learn a photograph of the woman that ended up on the front page of a newspaper was taken on his mobile.
That’s right, the ex-minister sent around the uncensored picture of the confidential complainant to some colleagues and somehow it ended up in the media (with her face pixelated). Oops. Wow.
No prizes for guessing why she was reluctant to make a formal complaint. She probably didn’t want her name dragged through the mud. And yet her attempt not to make a fuss is used against her to assert nothing really happened?
…..He had a chief of staff, Eaton, who managed to lose his taxpayer-funded mobile phone on a Hong Kong bar crawl. That’s pretty loose.
And when confronted by a young woman who said Briggs was invading her space on the night in the bar, Eaton elected not to tell Briggs to get into a cab but tell the female to stand closer to him, not the minister.”
Mr Dutton, was also mentioned in Ms Maiden’s column:
“It’s true that Briggs’ close mate Peter Dutton had some concerns about the outcome but the ultimate decision was unanimous. Let me spell it out.
Briggs got the boot because his alcoholic intake left him running the risk of behaving like Les Patterson when representing Australia abroad.”
So the next day upon reading the paper Mr Dutton fired off a nasty text message to his disgraced mate Briggs about Ms Maiden calling her a “mad f***ing witch”. But instead of sending the message to Mr Briggs, he flicked the wrong name into the send field and sent it to Maiden herself.