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Lisa Wilkinson (pictured) has been caught joking about shadow Indigenous affairs minister Jacinta Nampijinpa Price's name in an audio recording

Lisa Wilkinson jokes about Aboriginal Senator Jacinta Price's name during Brittany Higgins lunch

Lisa Wilkinson has been caught joking about shadow Indigenous affairs minister Jacinta Nampijinpa Price’s name before comparing the Liberal Party preselecting an Indigenous candidate to a white family ‘hiring a black cleaner’.

The comments from an audio recording were made during a lunch between Wilkinson, Brittany Higgins, her partner David Sharaz and Channel 10 producer Angus Llewellyn, in January 2021. 

The five-hour meeting took place before Ms Higgins’ interview on The Project on February 15, 2021, where she aired bombshell accusations of sexual assault.

The former Liberal Party staffer alleges she was raped by Bruce Lehrmann in Parliament House after a night out in 2019 when they were colleagues working for then Defence Minister Linda Reynolds. Mr Lehrmann has always denied the claims.

During the lunch, both Wilkinson and Mr Sharaz spoke about politicians who could potentially add weight to Ms Higgins’ accusations and the perceived culture of misogyny within the Liberal Party.

‘(The Liberal Party) has preselected over twenty new and wonderfully diverse and strong female candidates like, and what’s her name, Nam… Nampinjumba? (sic). She’s an Indigenous woman,’ Wilkinson could be heard saying in an audio clip obtained by Sky News. 

Lisa Wilkinson (pictured) has been caught joking about shadow Indigenous affairs minister Jacinta Nampijinpa Price's name in an audio recording

Lisa Wilkinson (pictured) has been caught joking about shadow Indigenous affairs minister Jacinta Nampijinpa Price’s name in an audio recording

Mr Sharaz responded: ‘She clearly got in. Clearly it was a safe seat.’

‘That’s the thing, it was – as soon as I looked at it I thought, Oh, you’re joking,’ Wilkinson said.

Mr Sharaz added: ‘They’ve been preselected in unwinnable seats,’ 

Wilkinson’s producer Mr Llewellyn then chimed with a joke about the Liberal party hiring Ms Price.

‘See, we know brown people,’ he said.

Mr Sharaz joined in on the quip, saying, ‘It’s like, I’m not racist, I have a black friend. It’s that argument.’ 

‘I don’t have his number, though,’ Mr Llewellyn said.

The ex-Project host then added: ‘And our cleaner’s black.’ 

The group joked about the Liberal Party's preselection of Senator Price (pictured), with Wilkinson comparing it to a white family 'hiring a black cleaner'

The group joked about the Liberal Party’s preselection of Senator Price (pictured), with Wilkinson comparing it to a white family ‘hiring a black cleaner’

The comments were made during a five-hour lunch between Wilkinson, Brittany Higgins (right), Ms Higgins' fiancé David Sharaz (left) and TV producer, Angus Llewellyn

The comments were made during a five-hour lunch between Wilkinson, Brittany Higgins (right), Ms Higgins’ fiancé David Sharaz (left) and TV producer, Angus Llewellyn

It comes as Anthony Albanese and other Labor heavyweights this week were forced to deny they colluded with Wilkinson and Ms Higgins while in Opposition to ‘weaponise’ the sexual assault allegations.

But a trove of leaked text messages on Wednesday between Mr Shazaz and Ms Higgins appear to show the couple had ‘direct contact’ with those at the highest levels of the Labor Party.

Wilkinson had claimed during the lunch Mr Albanese and Ms Plibersek were ‘friendly MPs’ who ‘could fire questions in Question Time’ regarding the rape allegations.

While Mr Sharaz said, in recorded audio revealed by Daily Mail Australia: ‘I have a friend in Labor, Katy Gallagher on the Labor side, who will probe and continue it going.

‘So sitting week, the story comes out, they have to answer questions at Question Time, it’s a mess for them.’

With a whirlwind of controversy surrounding the Wilkinson since the recordings were made public, the TV presenter has embarked on a mass social media blocking spree to mute her critics amid calls for her to hand back her Logie for the Ms Higgins interview.

‘If I was in her position, I would definitely have offered to hand the Logie back,’ Sky News Australia contributor Prue McSween told Daily Mail Australia.

‘Journalists are supposed to remain objective, not driven by their own agendas. Clearly this became much more for Lisa than a scoop. 

‘No journalist should seek to insert themselves or become the story.

‘But Lisa was ‘feeding the beast’ with her involvement in the womens’ protest outside Parliament House and the #metoo political theme that drove this whole storyline. 

‘I would not like my professional ethics questioned as hers now are.’

Finance Minister Katy Gallagher (pictured) was named by Ms Higgins' fiancé, David Sharaz, as a 'friend' who could help the couple. Ms Gallagher has vehemently denied having any knowledge of the rape allegations before they were made public

Finance Minister Katy Gallagher (pictured) was named by Ms Higgins’ fiancé, David Sharaz, as a ‘friend’ who could help the couple. Ms Gallagher has vehemently denied having any knowledge of the rape allegations before they were made public

Lisa Wilkinson has allegedly muted her critics in a mass online blocking spree after campaigners demanded she's stripped of her Logie for her Brittany Higgins report

Lisa Wilkinson has allegedly muted her critics in a mass online blocking spree after campaigners demanded she’s stripped of her Logie for her Brittany Higgins report

Veteran entertainment journalist Peter Ford claimed Wilkinson had crossed a line by feeding Ms Higgins politically-loaded lines to say in the interview. 

‘It’s a fine line,’ Ford told Sunrise host Natalie Barr. 

‘But I generally think when someone says, ‘I don’t want to put words in your mouth’, that is exactly what they do want to do.

‘Certainly Walkley Awards can be revoked. I can’t think of an example where a Logie Award has been revoked but time will tell.

‘I guess people are waiting to see how the ongoing situation plays out.’

The Australian columnist Janet Albrechtsen branded Wilkinson’s interview with Ms Higgins ‘shoddy journalism’ in an op-ed and said she should return her Logie now.

‘The proper thing to do would be for Wilkinson to hand in her Logie for her Higgins interview,’ she wrote.

‘That interview has been nothing but trouble for her, for the justice system, for good journalism and for people who deserved to be treated better.’

Sky News Australia contributor Prue McSween (pictured) told Daily Mail Australia that Wilkinson should now hand the award back

Wilkinson scooped the Logie in June 2022 (left) for her interview with Ms Higgins which first aired the explosive rape allegations in February 2021. Sky News Australia contributor Prue McSween (right) told Daily Mail Australia that Wilkinson should now hand the award back

Veteran entertainment journalist Peter Ford (right) told Sunrise host Natalie Barr (left) Wilkinson had crossed a line and said could lose the Logie she was awarded for the interview.

Veteran entertainment journalist Peter Ford (right) told Sunrise host Natalie Barr (left) Wilkinson had crossed a line and said could lose the Logie she was awarded for the interview.

Many now claim Wilkinson has hit back at her critics by blocking them online, effectively silencing them by censoring their comments from her timeline.

Among those hit in the spree is former South Australia senator Cory Bernardi, who tweeted: ‘Proud to be a member of the ‘blocked by Lisa Wilkinson’ club.’

Scores have posted their own notifications that they have also been blocked by Wilkinson, with one adding: ‘Welcome – there’s plenty of good people in this club.’

Another added that the TV star and her columnist husband Peter FitzSimons had both been muting their opponents.

‘She and her hubby are very busy today with limiting their Twitter audience to yes-people,’ they said.

‘Where great leaders surround themselves with no-people to promote debate to reach high achievements, poor leaders surround themselves with yes-people to silence debate.’

One posted: ‘Lisa Wilkinson blocked me, yet I have never ever Tweeted to her. 

‘Clearly she is blocking anyone that says anything negative about Brittany Higgins or people who refuse to worship Anthony Albanese and Labor.’

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Wilkinson for comment.