Home / World News / Ministers back embattled Lib MP Gladys Liu

Ministers back embattled Lib MP Gladys Liu

Senior federal ministers are closing ranks on Gladys Liu as the embattled Liberal MP comes under fire over donations and links to the Chinese Communist Party.

The first-term federal MP is facing calls to “consider her tenure” over her links to several Beijing-linked groups.

Ms Liu is also under pressure after failing to properly declare an almost $40,000 donation to the Liberal Party, and waiting almost three years before declaring another $25,000 gift.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton insisted there was no “smoking gun” or national security risks.

“If the prime minister or I had concerns about Gladys Liu we wouldn’t be backing her the way we are,” he told the Nine Network on Friday.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann also tried to dispelled concerns.

“This is a complete and utter beat up,” he told Sky News.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also launched a strident defence of the rookie Victorian politician.

He said Ms Liu should be forgiven for giving a “clumsy” interview in which she couldn’t recall her links to various Chinese groups.

It has also emerged intelligence agencies warned former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull against attending a 2018 fundraiser with associates of Ms Liu.

Separately, there are reports security agencies warned the Liberal Party not to preselect her as a candidate.

Mr Morrison said there was a “grubby undertone” to the reports and accused Labor of launching a racist attack.

He also accused Labor of trying to sling mud knowing he would not comment on security briefings.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said Labor’s only motivation was ensuring accountability.

“It has nothing to do with race and the only person who has raised race in these issues is, of course, Prime Minister Morrison,” Mr Albanese told reporters in New Zealand.

“The same guy who labelled (former Labor senator) Sam Dastyari as ‘Shanghai Sam’ repeatedly in the parliament.”

Labor’s foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong said the prime minister was hiding behind the entire Chinese-Australian community to avoid saying why he had ignored warnings from national security agencies.

“That is one of the lowest acts I have seen in all my time in this place,” she told parliament.

Senate crossbencher Rex Patrick said the controversy surrounding Ms Liu was a national security issue.

“She must consider her tenure,” he told ABC radio.

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