Defence Minister tears into former PM over ‘self-serving letter’ leak
Federal Defence Minister Peter Dutton has ripped into a former prime minister over a leaked letter addressed to Scott Morrison.
The ABC reports Kevin Rudd wrote to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, claiming he greased the wheels with Pfizer to secure more COVID-19 vaccines for Australia.
“It wouldn’t take our greatest detective within the Queensland Police Service to identify who leaked that self-serving letter,” Mr Dutton said to Neil Breen.
“Kevin claims credit for many things; it used to drive his Labor colleagues crazy.”
Mr Dutton suggested Mr Rudd is meddling in public debates because he’s “bored to death in retirement”.
“I wouldn’t pay much attention to it, Breenie.”
Press PLAY below to hear the Defence Minister’s ferocious shots in full
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt told Ray Hadley the deal was already done when Mr Rudd sent his letter.
“We received the letter after we’d done the work with Pfizer and we knew the outcome was to be exactly as it was.
“We appreciate all the help, even if it hasn’t added to the outcome.
“I’ll let others speak for themselves but that action came after the fact.”
Press PLAY below to hear the Health Minister’s response to former PM Malcolm Turnbull jumping into the fray
A Pfizer spokesperson has corroborated both Mr Dutton and Mr Hunt’s comments.
In a statement to 4BC, the spokesperson said no “third party or individual has had any role in contractual agreements reached between Pfizer and the Australian Government”.
Read the full statement below
“Recent media reports suggesting that any third party or individual has had any role in contractual agreements reached between Pfizer and the Australian Government are inaccurate. The only two parties involved in these agreements are Pfizer and the Australian Government.
“Pfizer is committed to delivering 40 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to Australia over 2021. Pfizer has met its contractual commitments to date and is on track to deliver the remaining doses by the end of the year.
“All agreements and supply arrangements, including dose planning are exclusively made with the Federal Government, and details of the agreement and discussions are confidential. All discussions on supply and procurement with the Federal Government are led by Pfizer representatives in Australia.
“Pfizer has a strong relationship with the Federal Government with continuous engagement both locally and globally in support of the national vaccine program including supply requests.”