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Liar, bitch: Lisa Neville accuses Ryan Smith of bad behaviour

Date

Richard Willingham

Victoria’s Parliament has been again hit by claims of politicians behaving badly with a government minister accused of calling a Labor MP a bitch and a liar during a heated exchange.

Shadow environment minister Lisa Neville told Parliament on Thursday morning that Environment Minister Ryan Smith had called her “the b-word” and yelled at her in front of other people calling her a liar and accused her of being untrustworthy.

She said the exchange happened in Strangers', which is the politicians' bar and restaurant in Parliament, just before 11pm on Wednesday evening.

Ms Neville had just spoken in the lower house as part of adjournment, which is a chance for MPs to raise issues with ministers.

She had earlier told Mr Smith that she would be raising an issue with him.

He did not attend and after she had spoken Ms Neville joked to Mr Smith that another minister had told her that Mr Smith would do what she had asked.

“Rather than laugh or get a friendly response, I received a barrage from the minister,’’ Ms Neville said.

She said he called her a liar and untrustworthy in front of a large group of people and was also called a bitch.

“I’m not raising this because of hurt feelings, I’m raising it because in 12 years I have never experienced outside this chamber behaviour of that sort.’’

Mr Smith has denied the claims, posting on Twitter: “The claims made by @LisanevilleMP are completely false. This is Labor trying to divert attention from their own #tapegate scandal”

Mr Smith did not face the media on Thursday, but Minister Louise Asher said she was with Mr Smith on Wednesday night when the alleged incident occurred. 

She said while the pair briefly spoke she did not hear any raised voices and thought it was a jocular conversation.

Ms Asher said she was shocked when Ms Neville spoke about it in parliament.

Liberal MP Brad Battin, who was also with Mr Smith on Wednesday night, said Ms Neville’s account of events were a fabrication.

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