Scott Morrison and the NSW police chief say there's nothing untoward in them having a chat about an investigation involving a federal cabinet minister.
The prime minister rang police commissioner Mick Fuller on Tuesday to discuss a fraud strike force looking at matters involving the federal energy minister Angus Taylor.
Afterwards, Mr Morrison told parliament that based on what the commissioner told him, he saw no need to stand Mr Taylor down as Labor demanded.
Police are investigating how Mr Taylor's office came to provide a journalist with fake documents purporting to show Sydney City Council travel expenses.
Labor and former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull have questioned whether Mr Morrison should have picked up the phone at all.
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has accused the prime minister of acting in his personal political interest, not the national interest.
"How on earth was it appropriate for you as prime minister to speak to the New South Wales police commissioner about the substance of an investigation on the very day it was launched?" he asked on Wednesday.
Mr Morrison said he told parliament four times during Tuesday's question time he was going to talk to the NSW police.
"I don't know who they thought I was going to call," he said.
"Did they think I was going to call the parking infringements officer at the Sutherland police station? Or maybe I was going to call the water police, or the dog squad, or perhaps the commander of the police band?"
Mr Fuller said the conversation was "extremely short" and he did not disclose any information that was not contained in an official media release.
"He didn't ask for anything that was inappropriate and I'm comfortable with the discussion that we had over a few minutes," he told reporters in Sydney.
He denied having a personal relationship with the prime minister.
Mr Turnbull said it was critically important for police inquiries to be free from political influence.
"I am sure the call that the prime minister made to the NSW police commissioner was innocuous, but it would have been much better had it not been made," he told Sky News.
"Being blunt about it, it is a call I would not have made."
Labor referred the minister's office to police over the doctored document Mr Taylor used to attack Sydney mayor Clover Moore.
Mr Taylor claimed the fudged figures were drawn from the council's annual report.
The minister later admitted the travel figures he cited were wrong, but claimed the council had different versions of its annual report online.
The prime minister was forced to correct the record on Wednesday evening after using quotes about Julia Gillard and a police investigation which he said were from a Victorian detective, but in fact had been comments by a radio presenter.
The prime minister did not address parliament directly to correct the record, with the attorney-general instead tabling a letter explaining the error.
Australian Associated Press