Peter Dutton to be moved from Home Affairs -Scott Morrison dumps Christian Porter and Linda Reynolds

Peter Dutton expected to replace Linda Reynolds as defence minister as Scott Morrison dumps her and Christian Porter from top cabinet posts after parliament sex scandals

  • Christian Porter and Linda Reynolds are expected to be dropped from their roles 
  • The solicitor-general’s advice related to the AG’s defamation trial against ABC
  • The advice said there could be a perceived conflict of interest during the trial 
  • Porter is on stress leave until March 31, and suing ABC for defamation 
  • Defence Minister Linda Reynolds has also been on extended sick leave 

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton is expected to move portfolios so Scott Morrison can dump embattled Christian Porter and Linda Reynolds from their posts. 

The prime minister received advice from the solicitor-general that there could be a perceived conflict of interest for Mr Porter as attorney-general.

Mr Porter is suing the ABC for defamation after it published a claim he raped a 16-year-old girl in 1988 when he was 17..

Ms Reynolds will likely be dropped as defence minister after she returns from sick leave for calling alleged Parliament House rape victim Brittany Higgins a ‘lying cow’.

Christian Porter’s future as Attorney-General is expected to be cut short – he is due to return from sick leave on March 31

Linda Reynolds will likely be dropped as defence minister after she returns from sick leave for calling alleged Parliament House rape victim Brittany Higgins a 'lying cow'.

Linda Reynolds will likely be dropped as defence minister after she returns from sick leave for calling alleged Parliament House rape victim Brittany Higgins a ‘lying cow’. 

Both are expected to stay in cabinet, but have less prominent roles, with the reshuffle to be announced as early as Saturday, The Australian reported.

Mr Morrison is expected to swap Mr Porter’s roles of Attorney-General and Industrial Relations Minister with Employment Minister Michaellia Cash.

Senator Cash was political staffer Ms Higgins’ boss when she was allegedly raped by a senior colleague in Ms Reynolds’ office in 2019.

However, she has escaped much of the fallout that befell Ms Reynolds.

Mr Dutton is expected to replace Linda Reynolds as the Defence Minister and Mr Porter as leader of the government in the House of Representatives.

He has been acting in that position while Mr Porter is on stress leave.

Michaelia Cash is expected to be appointed as the new Attorney-General should Christian Porter be dropped

Michaelia Cash is expected to be appointed as the new Attorney-General should Christian Porter be dropped

Peter Dutton (left) is expected to become the Defence Minister while Stuart Robert (right) would move to the Minister for Home Affairs

Peter Dutton (left) is expected to become the Defence Minister while Stuart Robert (right) would move to the Minister for Home Affairs

The falling dominoes could lead to Stuart Robert to leaving his job as Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Government Services, to take over Home Affairs.

The straight swaps would also allow Mr Morrison to hand Ms Reynolds the government services portfolio. 

Despite growing calls on a decision on the future of Mr Porter, the prime minister has remained strong on his statement that he is considering the advice received from the solicitor-general.

Mr Morrison has been under intense pressure to punish Mr Porter amid growing backlash over his handling of a historical rape claim against the AG.

The PM admitted on Tuesday he had to do better for women and expressed a determination to clean up the culture in Federal Parliament, which has been plagued by sex scandals. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison reacts during Question Time at Parliament House on March 24

Prime Minister Scott Morrison reacts during Question Time at Parliament House on March 24

Labor asked Mr Morrison whether he is preparing to make Mr Porter a ‘part-time minister’ or drop him altogether.

The prime minister did not rule out either option during question time on Wednesday.

‘I am considering that advice with my department secretary in terms of the application against the ministerial guidelines,’ he told parliament.

‘When I have concluded that assessment I will make a determination and I will make an announcement at that time.’

Mr Porter launched legal action against the ABC over a story about rape allegations against a senior minister.

The attorney-general was not named in the story but his lawyers claim Mr Porter was easily identifiable.

He later came forward to reveal he was the minister in question.

Mr Porter is due to return from stress leave on March 31.

Ms Reynolds has also been on extended sick leave for several weeks in the wake of the alleged rape of former media advisor Brittany Higgins by a male colleague in the minister’s office.

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