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Federal Finance Minister Katy Gallagher has conceded she knew about allegations made by Brittany Higgins before they became public, but has denied misleading Parliament.

Gallagher has been facing accusations by the opposition that she misled Parliament two years ago by saying during a Senate estimates session on June 4, 2021 that “no one had any knowledge” of Higgins’ allegations of rape against Bruce Lehrmann.

Katy Gallagher has denied misleading parliament.
Katy Gallagher has denied misleading parliament. (Alex Ellinghausen)

“I was aware of some allegations in the days leading up to the choice of Ms Brittany Higgins to make those allegations public,” Gallagher said.

“Mr Sharaz provided me with information. I did nothing with that information, and I was clear about that at the time.”

But Gallagher said there was “absolutely no issue here”.

“I was responding to an assertion made by Minister Reynolds that we had known about this for weeks and had made a decision to weaponise it,” the senator said.

“That is not true. That was never true.”

She said she was not aware of the full allegations made by Higgins.

Brittany Higgins and her partner David Sharaz.
Brittany Higgins and her partner David Sharaz. (Supplied)

Speaking to Today earlier this morning, Indigenous Affairs Minister Linda Burney praised Gallagher.

“I have known her for a very, very long time,” Burney said.

“She is incredibly competent. She is a woman of integrity and she is a woman with a very, very big heart.”

Ex-Liberal staffer Bruce Lehrmann was put on trial over allegations he raped Higgins in an office in Parliament House.

His trial was aborted due to juror misconduct and a second trial was dropped by prosecutors in Canberra over concerns over Higgins’ wellbeing.

No findings were ever made against Lehrmann, who has always maintained his innocence.

Readers seeking support can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyond blue on 1300 22 4636.

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.

Support is available from the National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service at 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732).

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