Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has sensationally demanded his successor Scott Morrison deal with "very troubling" allegations about Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton's links to Communist Party-aligned billionaire Huang Xiangmo and Liberal lobbyists.
Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi says the call, which followed the ABC Four Corners' revelations Mr Huang paid tens of thousands of dollars to secure a meeting with Mr Dutton in an attempt to gain Australian citizenship, raises a number of worrying questions.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports, in a stunning ultimatum to his former ministerial colleagues, Mr Turnbull said Mr Dutton had "a lot to explain" about the controversy, but ultimately the buck stopped with Mr Morrison.
Mr Morrison and Mr Dutton responded to the revelations by repeating that Mr Huang had not been granted citizenship and was prevented from returning to Australia.
Mr Dutton said then Labor Senator Sam Dastyari had vouched for Mr Huang's family when requesting the private citizenship ceremony and it would have been unusual for him as immigration minister to refuse that request.
"If Mr Dastyari has not been above board or misrepresented the reason for the citizenship ceremony, then I think that is something that he and frankly [Labor leader Bill] Shorten need to explain," Mr Dutton said on Tuesday, describing the revelations as a beat-up.
"The suggestion that somehow I've provided anything to this individual [Mr Huang] is just a nonsense. I have never received a dollar from [him]. I had that one meeting with him over lunch. I have never seen him since. As I say, what has he got from me?"
Senator Bernardi told Paul Murray Live on Sky News the whole Four Corners investigation was a hit job aided by Malcolm Turnbull.
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