Julie Bishop is reportedly considering leaving politics. Picture: Richard Hatherly
Julie Bishop is reportedly considering leaving politics. Picture: Richard Hatherly

Scott Morrison names new ministry

JULIE Bishop's resignation as Foreign Affairs Minister has been followed by Prime Minister Scott Morrison's announcement of his new cabinet.

Former Defence Minister Marise Payne will take over from Ms Bishop.

Peter Dutton will continue as Home Affairs minister and Mathias Cormann will stay as Finance Minister.

A key role as Energy Minister, which the PM described as the "minister for getting electricity prices down" is Angus Taylor.

Western Australian MP Melissa Price will take over as Environment Minister from the new Treasurer.

Ms Price, 54, had been deputy to Josh Frydenberg in that portfolio since last December.

Dan Tehan will be Education Minister, Kelly O'Dwyer takes on Jobs and Industrial Relations but keep the ministry for women portfolio.

The new minister for Trade, Tourism and Development is Simon Birmingham.

Ms Bishop resigned after a leaked WhatsApp thread revealed MPs were actively encouraging colleagues not to vote for her in Friday's leadership ballot.

Ms Bishop said in a statement this afternoon that she will remain on the back bench "as a strong voice for Western Australia".

Announcing her resignation from cabinet, Ms Bishop said she had made no decisions as to whether she would remain in parliament following the next election.

Ousted prime minister Malcolm Turnbull tweeted about his former deputy, referring to her as "Australia's finest Foreign Minister" and a role model for women.

Julie Bishop quits the front bench 

JULIE BISHOP has confirmed she won't be part of the front bench under new Prime Minister Scott Morrison, but won't say if she will recontest the next election. 

The long-serving deputy leader put up a failed bid for the top job in the Liberal party in last week's debacle that delivered the country a new Prime Minister. 

In a statement, she confirmed she would resign as Minister for Foreign Affairs. 

Bishop returned to Perth over the weekend after Friday's party room meeting to remove Malcolm Turnbull from power. 

She has served as foreign minister and deputy party leader under the Turnbull government. 

As member for Curtin, Bishop won the last election with 70.7% of the vote and a swing of 2.5%. She has held the seat since 1998, making 2018 her 20th year in the federal parliament. 

She told media she had made no decision about the next election, despite reports that she had already decided not to contest the seat. 

Leaked messages show Bishop was betrayed

A LEAKED WhatsApp thread between senior Liberal MPs reveals Julie Bishop was a victim of cruel tactics in Friday's leadership vote.

The messages, broadcast on ABC's Insiders, appear to show politicians were encouraged not to vote for Ms Bishop in the party room ballot even if they wanted to.

Leaked screenshots from the group titled "friends for stability" allege Mathias Cormann, whose support of Peter Dutton was pivotal in securing the leadership spill, had secured votes for Ms Bishop in order to keep Scott Morrison out of the race.

But the conversation between Morrison supporters shows politicians were encouraged to vote for Mr Morrison over Ms Bishop in the first round.

"Cormann rumoured to be putting some WA voted behind Julie Bishop in round 1," a message purporting to be from Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher broadcast on Insiders read.

"Be aware that this is a ruse trying to get her ahead of Morrison so he drops out and his votes to Dutton.

"Despite our hearts tugging us to Julie we need to vote with our heads for Scott in round one."

WhatsApp messages leaked to Insiders shows votes were directed away from Julie Bishop. Picture: ABC
WhatsApp messages leaked to Insiders shows votes were directed away from Julie Bishop. Picture: ABC

Participants in the thread expressed some concern for the Foreign Minister, with one suggesting "Someone should tell Julie".

A message apparently sent by Christopher Pyne read: "I have."

"Very respectfully," he added.

Ms Bishop was knocked out in the first round of voting in what was a three-way battle for the leadership between her, Mr Morrison and Mr Dutton.

She received only 11 votes in the first round, including from ousted prime minister Malcolm Turnbull. None of the votes came from West Australians.

Insiders host Barrie Cassidy, who revealed the messages, said Ms Bishop was "entitled to be embarrassed and angry".

"In the end, she was a victim of tactics and I suppose that helps to explain why she's less than impressed with her colleagues," he said.

Education Minister Simon Birmingham, whose name was on the WhatsApp thread, told Cassidy Ms Bishop was "the most significant woman in the history of the Liberal Party".

"We would love to see Julie continue, but that really is up to Julie," he said. "We will all respect whatever decision she makes."

On Friday, after the ballot, news.com.au journalist Shannon Molloy wrote Julie Bishop "should feel robbed".

On Insiders, Cassidy said Ms Bishop was poised to quit the front bench.

"I think that I can say, that unless somebody is very persuasive int he next few hours, I think she'll be calling a news conference and she will quit as Minister for Foreign Affairs," he said.

ABC showed the names involved in the ‘hastily put together’ WhatsApp group. Picture: ABC
ABC showed the names involved in the ‘hastily put together’ WhatsApp group. Picture: ABC

 

Bishop weighs exit from politics

AFTER her failed tilt for the prime ministership, longtime deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop says she's weighing all her options as it's reported she could leave politics altogether.

Ms Bishop is yet to decide if she wants to stay on as Foreign Minister under new Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Ms Bishop, who also stood for the leadership but was knocked out in the first round of voting with only 11 votes, has returned to Perth.

"I am going to consider all my options and I am going to focus on running (in the City to Surf)," she told the Sunday Times.

"Once I have considered my options I will make a statement."

Ms Bishop, 62, also stood down as deputy leader of the Liberal party, reportedly telling colleagues before the vote she refused to be "another man's deputy".

According to Fairfax, senior Liberals believe Ms Bishop is now preparing to walk from politics at the next election after 20 years in federal Parliament.

It was yesterday reported the deputy Liberal leader of 11 years could be in the running to become Australia's next governer-general.

 

Julie Bishop arrives at Perth Airport. Picture: Richard Hatherly
Julie Bishop arrives at Perth Airport. Picture: Richard Hatherly

In his outgoing speech on Friday, ousted leader Malcolm Turnbull said Ms Bishop had been Australia's "finest" foreign minister. According to the Sunday Telegraph, Mr Turnbull gave his vote to his loyal deputy in the first round of voting in the leadership spill after he withdrew from the race.

Mr Morrison said he had been "very supportive" of both the former prime minister and Ms Bishop, and is believed to be keen to keep her in the foreign minister portfolio.

But there are reports Ms Bishop be considering knocking back an offer to sit in the government's new-look cabinet.

Josh Frydenberg was voted in by his colleagues and was given the treasury portfolio on Friday.

Mr Morrison has made no other appointments public yet, but has indicated Mr Dutton and former finance minister Mathias Cormann would be welcomed back. Senator Cormann's decision to withdraw support for Mr Turnbull is widely regarded as the turning point which led to the second spill. Mr Morrison and the senator, who was also the government's leader in the Senate and chief negotiator with the crossbench, were photographed at work on Saturday. Mr Dutton has pledged "my loyalty completely" to Mr Morrison and the new government.

"I'm determined to do whatever we can to win the next election," Mr Dutton told The Sunday Mail.

"I believe we are in a stronger position to win the election with Scott Morrison as prime minister." Mr Morrison is expected to announce his new front bench sometime in the next few days.

Mr Frydenberg, Mr Morrison and Nationals leader Michael McCormack - whose party is entitled to five cabinet posts - will discuss the line-up ahead of an expected swearing-in early this week.

He'll head out to regional Queensland later this week for a drought tour.

NEW PM ACKNOWLEDGES 'DISGUST'

The leadership change that saw Scott Morrison installed as Prime Minister has been widely acknowledged as a move that's served to bring public opinion of our politicians to a new low.

And the new Liberal leader has this morning acknowledged he has some comprehension of how the electorate is feeling.

Speaking on ABC radio, Mr Morrison admitted voters would be "disgusted".

"There's a lot of change this week. I know people would have been pretty miffed," he said, adding it was "an understatement".

"People would have been absolutely disgusted with it."

Mr Morrison went on to say the sudden and messy had left the Australian public in a place that was no "where their heads should be at".

"That's where I'm going to get their heads," he said.

Scott Morrison realises people are ‘pretty miffed’. Picture: Kym Smith
Scott Morrison realises people are ‘pretty miffed’. Picture: Kym Smith

Mr Morrison said he would travel to western Queensland to inspect drought-affected areas tomorrow, making the crisis his first focus as Prime Minister, and had not yet thought about moving his family into the Lodge.

In his first sit-down interview since seizing the leadership, Mr Morrison told the Sunday Telegraph his and new deputy leader Josh Frydenberg's rise to the Liberal Party leadership had been "quite unique".

"We have both stepped up to these roles having been very supportive of the Prime Minister and Julie (Bishop, the former deputy leader)," he said.

"We have crossed that bridge yesterday (Friday). It wasn't a bridge we all necessarily wanted to cross at the start of the week."

Mr Morrison said he would bring an "optimistic attitude" to the role.

DUTTON'S SUBTLE DIG AT TURNBULL

Peter Dutton has denied he's a "wrecker" a day after losing the Liberal leadership battle, but he's choosing his words carefully.

Seven News reporter Simon Love tracked Mr Dutton down in Brisbane on Saturday and asked him directly if he was responsible for taking down the former PM.

"Malcolm Turnbull yesterday was referring to some of the 'wreckers'. Are you one of them?" Love asked.

"No," Mr Dutton responded. "I'm very proud of the actions that we've taken."

Then he took a stab at Mr Turnbull, saying "we were on our way to an annihilation" at the next election and, significantly, Australia now has a man that's "honourable" and who "will do well for our country".

Peter Dutton has denied being a ‘wrecker’ in the plot to bring down Turnbull. Picture: John Gass/AAP
Peter Dutton has denied being a ‘wrecker’ in the plot to bring down Turnbull. Picture: John Gass/AAP

Mr Turnbull's outgoing speech on Friday referred to wreckers who had tried to undermine him and "if not bring down the Government, then bring down my prime ministership".

"I was impressed by how many of my colleagues spoke or voted for loyalty above disloyalty, how the insurgents were not rewarded," he said, moments after Mr Dutton had not been rewarded.

Mr Dutton told the ABC on Friday that he doesn't regret his decision to run for PM "at all".


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