Morrison was secretly appointed to five portfolios: PM

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Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has accused his predecessor Scott Morrison of “an extraordinary and unprecedented trashing of our democracy”, following revelations he secretly swore himself into several ministerial roles.
Between March 2020 and May 2021, Morrison was appointed to five additional portfolios in secret, Albanese revealed today.
“This has been government by deception. Government in secret,” Albanese said.
Morrison was operating as minister of health, finance, home affairs, treasury and industry, science, energy and resources.
Albanese said the implications of Morrison’s multiple portfolios “are still being worked through”.
“We know that there is a legal matter in the issue of resources,” he said.
“I am seeking further advice as to the use of these extraordinary powers by Scott Morrison and other examples of it.”
Albanese has sought advice from the solicitor-general, which should be ready by next Monday.
He said Morrison’s colleagues “sat back and watched power be centralised within the Morrison government”.
“This is a sad indictment of not just Mr Morrison but all those cabinet colleagues of his.”
He cited the text message sent to millions of Australians on election day of an illegal boat interception as an example of Morrison’s alleged misuse of portfolios.
Albanese said the text message was an attempt to “pervert the result of the election on May 21”.
The Prime Minister did not reveal whether the secretaries of the various ministries were aware Morrison had secretly sworn himself in as minister.
Karen Andrews was the official Home Affairs Minister, though Morrison had also been sworn into the role.
Greg Hunt served as Health Minister and Josh Frydenberg served as Treasurer.
Mathias Cormann served as Minister for Finance for eight months with Morrison also sworn into the role. After he left Parliament, Simon Birmingham took over the role.
Meanwhile, Keith Pitt was ostensibly the Minister for Industry, Science, Energy and Resources.

Dutton tight-lipped

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has knocked back a question about whether Scott Morrison should resign from parliament.”The Prime Minister has sought legal advice, he will get that back Monday,” Dutton said.

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“I think we should respect the process and let’s see what the Prime Minister is able to advise next week.”

Morrison currently holds the seat of Cook in southern Sydney. It remains the only Liberal-held seat on Sydney’s coast that was not lost to an independent in the last election.