Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s tell-all memoir is out on Monday. Picture: AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi
Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s tell-all memoir is out on Monday. Picture: AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi

Turnbull reveals truth about ‘bonk ban’

Sex, lies, and politics have emerged as major themes of Malcolm Turnbull's new book, which reveals his 'bonk ban' wasn't simply aimed at Barnaby Joyce but married cabinet ministers hanging out in Canberra bars and fuelling perceptions politicians were "boozing and screwing staff."

The deluge of revelations from Mr Turnbull's memoir today includes claims he called in one married minister for a 'please explain' over his frequent visits to Canberra bars with young women after the bonk ban was introduced.

But his concerns over the gory details of his colleagues' private lives have emerged as a significant sub-theme of the book, with the former Prime Minister musing over the travails of Barnaby Joyce, mystery cabinet ministers and Nationals MP George Christensen's trips to the Philippines and Thailand.

Mr Turnbull describes Mr Joyce in his book as "a champion of traditional marriage while practising traditional adultery".

He accuses Mr Joyce of lying about his sexual relationship with a staffer Vicki Campion after he learned The Daily Telegraph's Sharri Markson was investigating claims Ms Campion had been spotted purchasing a pregnancy test.

The couple now have two children after he left his first wife Natalie.

The former Prime Minister writes that while some cabinet ministers were unhappy with the "bonk ban" introduced after Mr Joyce's marital adventures, it was strongly supported by Scott Morrison.

 

Barnaby Joyce pictured with partner Vicki and their two children Thomas Michael Timothy Joyce (L) & Sebastian (R). Picture: Supplied.
Barnaby Joyce pictured with partner Vicki and their two children Thomas Michael Timothy Joyce (L) & Sebastian (R). Picture: Supplied.

 

In one chapter titled "Tony and Peta", he even muses on the working relationship between Tony Abbott and his chief of staff Peta Credlin.

Ms Credlin described Mr Turnbull on Thursday as "reprehensible."

"In all my life I've never known a leader more dominated by another than Abbott was by Credlin," Turnbull writes.

"He worshipped and feared her."

Mr Turnbull writes that Mr Abbott's relaxed response to being bossed around in the office by his chief of staff was "at odds with Abbott's carefully cultivated image as the hairy-chested, bike-riding, firefighting alpha male, complete with a swagger that would put a sailor to shame".

The former Prime Minister also reveals he was "sickened by the hypocrisy'' of Nationals MP George Christensen's devout faith and his visits to "seedy" nightclubs overseas.

He based this view on the then Australian Federal Police commissioner Andrew Colvin briefing him on Mr Christensen's "unusually complex online presence" and his "spending substantial sums in Manila bars and nightclubs as well as making many small payments to women there."

 

MP George Christensen has described Mr Turnbull’s book as “full of gossip and innuendo”. Photo: Zizi Averill
MP George Christensen has described Mr Turnbull’s book as “full of gossip and innuendo”. Photo: Zizi Averill

 

"Against the advice of our embassy in the Philippines, he had been staying in seedy hotels in Angeles City, which was not only recklessly unsafe but made him vulnerable to being compromised,'' he writes.

"For a member in a marginal seat to be spending nearly a third of the year overseas, on full pay as an MP, staying in a seedy part of Manila and hanging out in bars and nightclubs beggared belief.

"The hypocrisy made me sick."

Mr Colvin subsequently briefed Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.

However, the AFP concluded no crime had been committed under Australian law.

Mr Christensen has always described the claims as "vile smear" and took to Facebook overnight to complain about Mr Turnbull's book. He has previously revealed he was visiting his fiancee in the Philippines.

"It's bewildering that any leader of substance would release a book full of gossip and innuendo when the bigger picture is that there's a global crisis going on where people are dying and losing their livelihoods,'' Mr Christensen wrote.

In revelations sure to make international headlines, Mr Turnbull recounts a private conversation with Barack Obama where the former US President described Donald Trump as "a lunatic" who would never be elected.

Meanwhile, Kevin Rudd confirmed on Thursday a story in the memoir that he called Mr Turnbull a "little f**king rat" over his backflipping on a promise to back Mr Rudd's 2017 bid to become UN secretary-general.

"Once again, Malcolm sanitises the truth. I was much more graphic than that," Mr Rudd tweeted.

Originally published as Turnbull reveals truth about 'bonk ban'



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