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Dutton, Keenan say Abbott kept in loop

AAP logoAAP 20/10/2016 Paul Osborne, AAP Senior Political Writer

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton says he and Justice Minister Michael Keenan met with two Senate crossbenchers to discuss a sunset clause on shotgun import ban in exchange for support for a national security bill and kept the then prime minister's office in the loop.

Tony Abbott told the ABC on Wednesday night he had not authorised any deal, nor had his office.

Mr Dutton told parliament on Thursday there was no correspondence following the meeting between his office and that of Mr Abbott's office.

However, Mr Dutton said: "There's no question that at an advisor's level there would have been discussions around this issue."

Mr Keenan told parliament he had "interacted in the usual way, as we would with the prime minister's office ... keeping them appraised of what was going on".

An email released by crossbench senator David Leyonhjelm in relation to the meeting last year confirmed ministers Dutton and Keenan "have agreed" to the 12 month sunset clause and "in return Senator Leyonhjelm will vote against" the amendments in question.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told parliament he had asked his ministers about the incident.

"As a result of those inquiries I'm satisfied that the minister for justice acted in the full knowledge of the prime minister's office at that time," Mr Turnbull said.

Labor later moved to censure the prime minister for "15 sitting days of unprecedented chaos from a government in disarray".

Manager of opposition business Tony Burke told parliament the prime minister had "openly contradicted the claims of the former prime minister on the guns-for-votes scandal".

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