A former colleague of Scott Morrison has rushed to his defence amid claims he has a reputation as a liar.
Scott Morrison’s reputation has again been called into question by predecessor Malcolm Turnbull, but a former colleague has trashed claims the Prime Minister has a track record of lying.
On the sidelines of the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow, Mr Turnbull said he had no doubt French President Emmanuel Macron had been deceived over the $90bn submarine deal.
He claimed he had experienced similar from Mr Morrison during his time in the top job.
“Oh, he’s lied to me on many occasions,” Mr Turnbull told reporters.
“Scott has always had a reputation for telling lies.”
But Mathias Cormann, who served as finance minister under both Mr Morrison and Mr Turnbull, has categorically rejected the latter’s stinging character assessment.
Asked if Mr Morrison had a track record of telling lies, the OECD secretary-general said: “No.”
“I had a very good working relationship with Scott Morrison. I had a good working relationship with Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott as prime minister,” Mr Cormann told ABC Radio National on Wednesday morning.
“I’ve always done my best to serve them to my best ability, and the opportunity to catch up with Scott at the G20, also at Cop26 … we had some very, very good conversations about the challenges ahead.”
The former prime minister’s comments echo those made by Mr Macron, who on Monday told reporters he “knew” he had been lied to by Mr Morrison.
Later, text messages between the two leaders that seemingly discredited Mr Macron’s versions of events were leaked to the media.
Key crossbench senator Rex Patrick told 2GB on Wednesday morning that Mr Morrison’s behaviour harmed Australia’s reputation on the world stage.
He added while Australia was right to walk away from the conventional submarine deal with France, the way it was handled left much to be desired.
“I absolutely supported the decision to withdraw from the French contract,” he said.
“But in this instance, I’m not convinced that we exited this program in a manner which was proper and in a manner which was fair to the French.
Originally published as Scott Morrison not a liar, former finance minister Mathias Cormann says