Scott Morrison censured over secret ministries, as former prime minister decries reprimand as ‘political intimidation’

Home Politics Scott Morrison censured over secret ministries, as former prime minister decries reprimand as ‘political intimidation’
Scott Morrison censured over secret ministries, as former prime minister decries reprimand as ‘political intimidation’

Former prime minister Scott Morrison has been censured over his self-appointment to five portfolios during the height of the global pandemic, which he kept secret from the public and many of his own cabinet colleagues.

The censure passed with the support of the government, crossbenchers and Liberal MP Bridget Archer. Former home affairs minister Karen Andrews, who previously called for Mr Morrison to quit parliament over the scandal, abstained from voting.

It was opposed by the Liberals and Nationals, who said Mr Morrison had already been rebuked for the power grab and that the censure was a stunt.

The censure motion noted Mr Morrison appointed himself to administer five additional portfolios, that he did not notify cabinet, relevant departments, the House of Representatives nor the public, that (his actions) “fundamentally undermined” the principles of responsible government and that the former PM’s move was “corrosive of trust in government”.

The Member for Cook was censured for “failing to disclose his appointments to the House of Representatives, the Australian people and the cabinet, which undermined responsible government and eroded public trust in Australia’s democracy”.

A censure is the most-serious statement of disapproval a parliament can make, although it is symbolic and triggers no consequence for Mr Morrison as a backbencher.

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