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ScoMo defends bonk ban amid Four Corners investigation into senior Canberra

ScoMo defends bonk ban amid Four Corners investigation into senior Canberra

Scott Morrison has raised the question of ABC bias on the eve of the airing of a report expected to expose a “sex scandal” within the government.

The Prime Minister was asked about an ABC Four Corners episode spruiked as a “sex scandal” due to air on Monday night.

It follows a report in The Australian that the #MeToo-style story was threatening to start a war between the ABC and the Coalition over the “alleged mingling of the personal and professional lives of two senior cabinet ministers”.

“I’m not in the habit of responding to allegations people will make based on a program I haven’t seen and I don’t even know what is in it,” Mr Morrison said.

He was also asked whether any members of his government or his office had pressured the ABC to pull the story, after emails were reported to be exchanged and board members informally contacted.

“If they are going to make inquiries, I would think that they would want to do them across the political spectrum,” Mr Morrison said.

“We would just expect of the ABC always that they would act in an independent and an unbiased, bipartisan way.

“It’s really for the ABC under their charter to remain true to that.”

The Four Corners episode also features former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, Liberal senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells and Australian Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

The Prime Minister was also asked about his commitment to the “bonk ban”, which prohibits ministers from having sexual relationships with staffers under the code of conduct.

The ban was prompted by a scandalous affair between Barnaby Joyce and his former media adviser Vikki Campion.

“I more than supported it, I ensured that it continued,” Mr Morrison said.

“Why it’s there is to protect, I think, a culture in the parliament.

“It’s not just on any one side of politics can I tell you.

“I note that the Labor Party has mocked the ban and hasn’t supported it.”