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Scott Morrison Told This Journalist To "Check The Transcript", So He Did

"Allegedly! Allegedly!" interjected Morrison as he was presented with the transcript of his remarks from 2014.

Former immigration minister Scott Morrison repeatedly refused to apologise during a fiery interview on ABC's Insiders on Sunday, after incendiary claims against asylum seeker support staff were found to be baseless.

Does Save the Children deserve an apology? Here's what @ScottMorrisonMP said when asked this question on #Insiders.

On Friday, news broke of a secret compensation deal between the Immigration department and Save the Children staff who were removed from Nauru because of allegations they were teaching asylum seekers to self-harm.

ABC Insiders host Barrie Cassidy asked Morrison if he'd now apologise to Save the Children, but the former immigration minister stood firm and challenged him to "check the transcript".

Cassidy: This is what you said. You accused them of being political activists. You said they made false claims.Morrison: No Barrie I did not say that.Cassidy: Yes you did, I looked at the transcript.Morrison: I did not say thatCassidy: You said that they allegedly coached self harmMorrison: I said that on the evidence presented to me Cassidy: You said that they used children to protestMorrison: Allegedly, allegedlyCassidy: The allegedly applied to just one allegationMorrison: I said allegedly BarrieCassidy: To one allegation, that they coached self harm. There was no allegedly about them being political activists. There was no allegedly about them making false claims. Surely now you've paid compensation, that's a concession of guilt. It's time for an apology.Morrison: Barrie those evidences that were presented to me I had investigated fully by a proper process. I did the job I had to do in that situation.

Morrison made the accusations against Save the Children staff back in October 2014 after being given a report about what was happening on Nauru.

William West / AFP / Getty Images

"Their coaching and encouragement of self harm, for people to be evacuated off the island, and the fabrication of allegations, as part of a campaign to seek to undermine operations and support for the offshore processing policy of the Government," said Morrison.

There has been no public apology from the current minister Peter Dutton either. On the contrary, Dutton echoed Morrison's hard line on advocates earlier this week, who he claimed were "encouraging people to act in a certain way."

"Advocates who proclaim to represent and support the interests of refugees and asylum seekers must frankly hear a clear message ... their activities and these behaviours must end," said Dutton.

Save the Children's director of public affairs Matthew Tinkler told ABC's PM program he was pleased with the compensation deal, but expressed concern about Dutton's comments.

"The Government has suggested that the cause of people taking extraordinary steps to harm themselves may have been caused in some way by the actions of advocates because this has been tried once before, with Save the Children, and two independent inquiries confirmed that there was no basis for those allegations."

Mark Di Stefano is a media and politics correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Mark Di Stefano at

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