“All bets are off”: Annabel Crabb backs Laurie Oakes scoop

Veteran Nine political reporter today farewelled the Canberra Press Gallery, ending a stellar run.

Recently in chatting to ABC’s Annabel Crabb I asked if she agreed with Oakes’ recent controversial scoop on Malcolm Turnbull at the Mid Winter Ball, which some believed was off-the-record.

“The rules of off-the-record are if you weren’t at the event but you can persuade someone to tell you what happens, then all bets are off,” she said.

“It doesn’t matter how secret a meeting is or a document is. If you’re not bound personally by the rules of secrecy, if you don’t sign up on your way into the event personally…. and if you get someone who was in there to break that undertaking and tell you, then away you go!

“A lot of people were cross with Laurie but he has never made a secret of his refusal to attend the event because he doesn’t think it’s appropriate for it to be off the record,” she explained.

“I can’t argue with it.”

The scoop was one of many across Oakes’ legendary career. He also made a final appearance on the Today show this morning.

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