Female Lib MP takes aim at male colleagues over photo leak

A VICTORIAN Liberal backbencher has slammed some of her male colleagues over a lack of respect for women.

Sharman Stone made the comments to the ABC on Tuesday in the wake of the scandal that caused former cities minister Jamie Briggs to resign last week.

His resignation was triggered by revelations of "inappropriate conduct" with a junior female diplomat in a Hong Kong bar.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton was drawn into the saga on Monday after it emerged he had described a female journalist as a "mad f**king witch" in a text message meant for Mr Briggs.

That text reportedly followed Mr Briggs texting political colleagues a picture of him with the woman at the bar, and the subsequent leaking of that picture to the Sunday Telegraph journalist.

Dr Stone told the ABC the series of actions showed "some of our male colleagues still don't get it in terms of treating women with respect".

"I think the most important fact is that it (the photo) was leaked, that someone didn't see it as important to keep the woman's identity strictly private," she said.

Turnbull lashes colleagues after staffer's details leaked

PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull has ruled out an inquiry into a leaked photo of a female diplomat who made a complaint against  Coalition MP Jamie Briggs.

Mr Turnbull told ABC on Tuesday the photograph was taken on Mr Brigg's phone and he shared it. He said he the former citiies minister's actions were disappointing, but that an inquiry would not achieve much.

"He shouldn't have done it, quite clearly," Mr Trurnbull said.

"These leaks inquiries, they tend to come up with very little."

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull MICK TSIKAS

EARLIER: FURIOUS that a young, female government staffer's job title, age and image has leaked to the media, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has lashed colleagues for their role in the expanding scandal.

It follows a female diplomat's image - though her face was pixelated - appearing on the front page of The Australian after she raised a concern about Coalition MP Jamie Briggs' behaviour while on a ministerial trip to Hong Kong.

Mr Turnbull said the release of this woman's personal information could discourage others from coming forward.

"Publishing the identity of a complainant in a case like this not only infringes their privacy, it serves actively to discourage other women who are concerned about the conduct of a superior from raising a complaint in the future," he told Fairfax Media.

"I urge all parties to respect the public servant's privacy."

Mr Briggs is understood to have kissed the diplomat on the face or cheek, and left his role as Cities Minister last week.

The young woman's image is thought to have been leaked as a way of defending Mr Brigg's behaviour.

It was first sent to colleagues by Mr Briggs himself, although the MP denies leaking it to the media.

Fairfax reports Mr Turnbull has urged media outlets not to identify the woman, who had wanted to remain anonymous.

The woman did not make a formal complaint about the then Cities Minister, but made a note which would later be read by Department of Foreign Affairs secretary Peter Varghese, and in turn, Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop.

An inquiry followed.

Adding an extra shade of frustration to the ordeal, was Immigration Minister Peter Dutton who attempted to send Mr Briggs an SMS describing News Limited political editor Samantha Maiden as a "mad f---ing witch" after she was critical of the minister's behaviour abroad.

Mr Dutton instead sent it to Ms Maiden, making national headlines on Monday.

Next steps in Carborough Downs mine death court case

Premium Content Next steps in Carborough Downs mine death court case

The 57 year old father was crushed to death by falling coal while repairing...

DON'T MISS OUT: Activate your bonus for big rewards

DON'T MISS OUT: Activate your bonus for big rewards

Did you know you can get even more – for free?