Home Affairs report confirms Scott Morrison pressured department to reveal election day boat interception

A Department of Home Affairs report has confirmed the office of former prime minister Scott Morrison instructed the public service to publicly reveal the interception of a suspected asylum seeker boat on election day.

The report prepared by Home Affairs Secretary Mike Pezzullo found uniformed Australian Border Force (ABF) and Australian Defense Force members, as well as public servants, acted with integrity by refusing a request to release a media statement while the operation was still unfolding.

A departmental statement was eventually issued minutes after Mr Morrison announced the interception in his final press conference as Prime Minister, but the report concluded officials refused requests to post it on social media or send it directly to journalists.

Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neill says the election day episode was “disgraceful, shameful and characteristic of a national government which frequently pursued political interests above the national interest”.

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