The federal Treasurer Joe Hockey is rejecting claims that he has put Social Security Minister Scott Morrison in pre-budget lock up ahead of tonight’s federal budget. The move comes amid calls for Morrison to replace Hockey as treasurer following a string of positive media appearances by Morrison.
Suspicions were first raised when Morrison missed a scheduled appearance on 2GB radio this morning. By midday concerns about Morrison’s wellbeing intensified after two hours passed without the minister making a single media appearance.
James Bletchley, a press secretary for the minister, told The (un) Australian that it was “practically unheard of” for Morrison to go more than ninety minutes without giving an interview or press conference during daylight.
According to Bletchley, Morrison had a short meeting with Hockey at 7:30 this morning from which he never returned.
The Treasurer was then spotted shortly after eight am walking away from lock up with an “unmistakable expression of triumph on his face.”
In 2012 then Treasurer Wayne Swan attempted a similar manoeuvre by placing Kevin Rudd in budget lock up, but later released Rudd after realising the dangers associated with leaving him unsupervised in a room with the full Canberra press gallery.