Dutton apologises after ‘witch’ gaffe

Minister for for immigration Peter Dutton during Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

Minister for for immigration Peter Dutton during Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

Sydney [AAP]

Immigration minister Peter Dutton has apologised to a journalist after accidentally sending her a message in which he referred to her as a ‘witch’.

The minister on Sunday night confirmed he had apologised after Samantha Maiden, the political editor for News Corp’s Sunday papers, received the message.

The message was reportedly intended for Mr Dutton’s embattled colleague Jamie Briggs who has stepped down after acting inappropriately towards a colleague while on an overseas trip.

In a newspaper column Ms Maiden criticised Mr Briggs’ behaviour and decision to circulate a photo of the woman who made a confidential complaint about his actions at a Hong Kong bar.

Mr Dutton responded to the column by reportedly texting Mr Briggs to call its author a ‘mad f***ing witch’.

Instead, it was sent straight to Ms Maiden’s text message inbox.

In a statement on Sunday evening, Mr Dutton confirmed he had apologised to Ms Maiden.

‘Sam and I have exchanged some robust language over the years so we had a laugh after this and I apologised to her straight away, which she took in good faith.

‘I’m expecting a tough time in her next column.’

The Australian newspaper reported that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had privately described the message as ‘completely inappropriate’.

3 responses to “Dutton apologises after ‘witch’ gaffe”

  1. Matt Hartley says:

    Oddly, I know some Byron Shire ladies who would consider that a compliment. I can see the formation of “The Mad Witch Society.”

  2. Terry Cleal says:

    Dutton has form, remember the rising sea-level put down to communities living in our Pacific islands re climate change? Brough, Briggs & Dutton……….all Captain Turnbull’s picks for high office!

  3. Jill Keogh. says:

    Ho ho ho all jolly good fun, implies Minister Dutton in his comment after his apology to Samantha Maiden.

    How Malcolm Turnbull can bring about a consciousness-change in the misogynist thugs, miscreants and bullies like Dutton he has under his nose in Parliament, in order to improve in general the status of women in Australia, will be a wonder to see.
    The disrespect and denigration flavouring Dutton’s remarks and James Brigg’s actions towards his staffer are a hairs- breadth away from physical abuse in other circumstances.

    Good on the PM for stripping Briggs of his ministry; let’s see where Dutton’s loose mouth takes him.

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