‘Thank god for Peta’: Samantha Armytage lavishes Tony Abbott’s former chief of staff Credlin with praise after she brawled with Dan Andrews over the coronavirus inquiry
- Sky News host Peta Credlin has grilled Premier Daniel Andrews on hotel inquiry
- Sunrise host Samantha Armytage praised Credlin for questioning the premier
- ‘Thank god for journos like #petaCredlin,’ she tweeted with the prayer emoji
- Mr Andrews dodged a series of questions about the coronavirus inquiry
- Jenny Mikakos claims the hotel quarantine disaster was not her fault
Samantha Armytage has praised Tony Abbott’s former chief of staff Peta Credlin after she savaged Daniel Andrews over the coronavirus inquiry.
The Sunrise host took to Twitter on Friday evening, hours after the Victorian premier’s press conference, to thank Credlin for asking the hard questions about the hotel quarantine debacle.
‘Thank god for journos like #petaCredlin,’ she tweeted with the praising hands emoji.
Mr Andrews was grilled by the Sky News host on why phone records were not tendered to the hotel quarantine inquiry which might reveal who decided to use private security.
The Sunrise host (pictured) took to Twitter on Friday evening, hours after the Victorian premier’s press conference thanking Credlin for asking the hard questions about the hotel quarantine debacle
Tony Abbott’s former chief of staff Peta Credlin (pictured) questioned Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews over the coronavirus inquiry
Samantha Armytage took to Twitter and praised Credlin for questioning the inquiry on Friday
Mr Andrews insisted that phone records had not been requested by the inquiry, which was headed by retired Justice Jennifer Coate.
‘At any point where this inquiry has sought more from the government, the answer has been yes,’ Mr Andrews said.
In a heated exchange, Credlin continued to press the premier to hand over the phone records to ‘clear up’ six crucial minutes where the decision to use private security guards appeared to have been made.
‘For the avoidance of doubt, are you, (Department of Premier and Cabinet secretary) Chris Eccles, and indeed your chief of staff prepared to prove your outgoing calls in that six minute period,’ she asked.
Mr Andrews snapped back that he had not been asked to hand them over.
‘I am confident that if they believe there is a deficiency in the, or incompleteness in terms of the picture that they are working with, it is within their power to raise those matters,’ he said.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews (pictured) said he had not been asked to hand over the phone records to see who was in charge of hotel quarantine
Timeline to disaster: How the decision to employ private security came to be, according to what an inquiry has heard
Under the law, the inquiry does not actually have the power to ask Mr Andrews for his phone records.
‘It is not a power or ability open to Justice Coate,’ Credlin told the premier.
‘But you as an individual, your chief of staff and Mr Eccles can willingly provide that information now and completely clear up this six minute period that has been I think the subject of a lot of debate.’
The inquiry had heard previously that former Police Chief Graham Ashton had received a call from someone within the premier’s department telling him that the decision to use private security had been made.
But he couldn’t remember who had told him.
Premier Daniel Andrews swore on the bible at the inquiry to tell the whole truth and nothing but it
Peta Credlin has turned a blowtorch on Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews during his press conference on Friday
A clearly agitated premier told Credlin if the inquiry had not asked him the question, he had no intention of telling her.
‘With the greatest of respect, if you’re putting it to me that somehow you’ve got the power to make a request of me, but the board doesn’t, that’s just not right,’ Mr Andrew said.
‘I don’t agree with the notion that now you and your network have an ability to put something to me and make a request of me but the board of inquiry doesn’t. The board has that power.’
The stoush followed a suggestion by former health minister Jenny Mikakos that Mr Andrews’ evidence to the inquiry should be treated with caution.