The NSW opposition leader has labelled Gladys Berejikilian as disgraced former MP Daryl Maguire's "sounding board for corruption", prompting the furious NSW premier to demand she "say it outside".
Ms Berejiklian was under siege again on Thursday as her former boyfriend returned to be grilled by the Independent Commission Against Corruption and she endured another brutal question time in NSW parliament.
Mr Maguire this week in ICAC confessed to secretly directing G8way International, a firm that earned commissions for linking Chinese buyers with Australian businesses, while the MP for Wagga Wagga. He resigned in 2018 in relation to a separate ICAC probe.
Following revelations Ms Berejiklian and Mr Maguire were in a five-year "close personal relationship" from 2015, Opposition Leader Jodi McKay accused Ms Berejiklian in question time of being a "sounding board for corruption".
She referred to phone conversation intercepts, played in the ICAC, in which Mr Maguire can be heard informing Ms Berejiklian of his $1.5 million debt, various business interests and hoped-for commissions.
Mr Maguire told ICAC on Thursday that Ms Berejiklian was one of the few people with whom he could discuss his debts and their relationship was "on again, off again".
But Ms Berejiklian denied wrongdoing, twice challenging Ms McKay in parliament to make the same accusations outside - where she would not enjoy parliamentary privilege.
"The question put by the leader of the opposition is extremely offensive (and) wrong in every way, and I ask her to withdraw it or else say it outside," Ms Berejiklian said.
"This investigation is being undertaken by the ICAC, not the Labor Party.
"The opposition can clutch at any straws they like - the truth is I've done nothing wrong."
With Ms Berejiklian's judgment and leadership this week called into question, Transport Minister Andrew Constance earlier on Thursday reiterated his staunch support for the premier, saying she was the innocent victim of a duplicitous man.
"Today is a tough day. There is no denial of that and we will move on from there. But she is a great person, a great leader," Mr Constance told the Nine Network.
Attorney-General Mark Speakman also told ABC TV there was "100 per cent support for Gladys in the parliamentary Liberal Party" and she was "the best premier in Australia".
Ms Berejiklian on Wednesday survived two opposition no-confidence motions after bruising debates in both houses of parliament. Upper house crossbenchers have now withdrawn support for government legislation until Ms Berejiklian steps aside.
Australian Associated Press