No 'illegal' tactics used by Liberals: PM

Julie Bishop. Photo: AAP
Julie Bishop. Photo: AAP

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has no reason to believe illegal tactics may have taken place inside the Liberal party during the recent leadership spill.

Mr Morrison has responded to claims from fellow Liberal Julia Banks, who is quitting politics over "appalling" bullying, intimidation and harassment.

Ms Banks told parliament on Wednesday night the public is sick of "widespread, pervasive and undermining" behaviour in federal parliament.

Mr Morrison was asked about the claims of bullying and the issues around women in parliament on Thursday.

"I have had the opportunity to speak to members of my own team about these matters and I do not believe that there are the sorts of behaviours that were described in the question," Mr Morrison said.

"I have no truck with bullying in this place or anywhere else."

Former foreign minister Julie Bishop says the federal Liberal party is doing the right thing handling bullying complaints internally instead of in the public eye, but has backed up Ms Banks.

"It's a very difficult situation where you are accusing others of behaviour that could in some instances be illegal," Ms Bishop told reporters.

"If the women or men who feel this way are confident that their concerns will be taken seriously and will be considered and will be investigated, then there's no need for them to name them publicly."

Weighing in on the low number of women in Liberal Party ranks, Ms Banks says gender quotas are the only way to ensure equal representation.

"They represent half the population and so should a modern Liberal Party," she told the lower house on Wednesday night.

"Quotas are not demeaning to women and nor will women be regarded as the 'quota girl'."

Mr Morrison again rejected calls about a quota being the best approach to recruiting more women to the Liberal Party.

"When it comes to the selection of candidates to represent the Liberal Party in this place that is done by our rank and file membership which is made up of men and women from all walks of life," Mr Morrison said.

Ms Banks said parliament was a decade behind the business world in promoting women to leadership positions

"There are equal numbers meritorious Liberal woman out there in the real world as there are men," Ms Banks said.

"It's really simple if you only have a man running and you can't find a woman, find one."

Australian Associated Press