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Wed, 5 Sep, 2018Danielle McCarthy

The frightening story of Julie Bishop having her tea spiked by a fellow politician

The frightening story of Julie Bishop having her tea spiked by a fellow politician

Australia’s former Foreign Affairs Minister, Julie Bishop, has recalled a frightening experience she encountered two years ago, in a room filled with 20 other foreign affairs ministers from around the world.

At the dinner held in Cambodia, Bishop looked forward to her conversation with her Cambodian and Chinese counterparts, who she would be seated between.

Despite the political gathering being a dry event, the Foreign Affair’s Minister of Russia, Sergei Lavrov, showed off to his colleagues the flask of Scotch sitting in his pocket.

Bishop grew absorbed in a conversation with China’s Wang Yi when she reached for her teacup.

“I took a sip of tea and spat it out,” Bishop recalled to The Sydney Morning Herald.

“It was scotch.”

While Wang asked if she was OK, Bishop looked up to see Lavrov waving at her from across the room.

"He'd bribed a waiter to put scotch into my teacup. Lavrov is evil," she said.

It was just one of the ways Bishop was deceived during her time as Foreign Affairs minister, as fellow politicians planned to vote her out on a messaging app during the Liberal leadership spill.

The WhatsApp thread, reported by ABC’s Insiders, showed several Liberal PMs deciding to vote Bishop out in the first round of the spill.

Attempting to foil a rumoured tactic to secure Peter Dutton as prime minister, the group were encouraged to vote for Scott Morrison, despite their “heart tugging” them to Bishop.

“Cormann rumoured to be putting some WA votes behind Julie Bishop in round 1,” Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher began, writing to the WhatsApp group.

“Be aware that this is a ruse trying to get her ahead of Morrison so he drops out and his votes to Dutton.

“Despite our hearts tugging us to Julie we need to vote with our heads for Scott in round one.”

“Someone should tell Julie,” one PM responded.

“I have… Very respectfully,” Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne said.

Bishop received 11 votes in her favour after the first round and then shortly after, resigned from her role. 

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