Australia

'Never been stronger': Josh Frydenberg plays down row with UK over meeting leaks

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has rejected Labor's call for a 'wellbeing budget', similar to New Zealand's. Source: AAP

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has dismissed reports of a diplomatic row between the UK and Australia, saying the partnership between the two countries has never been stronger.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has played down reports of a spat between the UK and Australia over leaked conversations British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab had during a recent visit to the Federal Parliament.

Mr Raab met with parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee during a visit that was aimed at securing closer ties in the UK's post-Brexit era.

However, SBS News has confirmed the UK High Commissioner has written to the heads of these committees, angered that these conversations were leaked to the media.

The conversations criticised the UK allowing China's Huawei into its 5G network, something Australia and other countries have blocked due to security reasons.

SBS News has also confirmed the Intelligence and Security Committee now won't be travelling to the UK as planned next month.

The decision came after the UK High Commissioner advised the committee to cancel its visit for "logistical reasons".

Mr Frydenberg declined to discuss the reported row, saying diplomatic ties between the two countries have never been stronger.

"Boris Johnson and Scott Morrison work very effectively together," he told reporters in Melbourne on Saturday.

Scott Morrison with his British counterpart, Boris Johnson.
Scott Morrison with his British counterpart, Boris Johnson.
PA Wire

He said Australia and the UK have a strong economic and strategic partnership.

"And it's a partnership that will be solidified further with a free trade agreement that we are both working on."

Additional reporting: AAP

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