Ex-Australian PM Morrison won't be resigning despite calls from party
Morrison is accused of co-ministering essential ministries, leading to members of his own party pressuring him to resign.
Former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he will not resign from federal parliament after his five secret ministry appointments were revealed, defending his decision to keep the ministries concealed as he argued that he never exercised his powers on them.
On Monday, Canberra announced that it was looking into claims that ex-PM Scott Morrison had given himself the power to co-minister the health, finance, and resources ministries during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At a press conference in Sydney Wednesday afternoon, Morrison, in a reportedly defiant intonation, said he will remain a member of the parliament for the region of Cook, pushing back against calls - even from his own party - that it's time he quit.
“I believed it was necessary to have authority, to have what were effectively emergency powers, to exercise in extreme situations that would be unforeseen, that would enable me to act in the national interests,” he asserted, regarding his decision to secretly assert his authority over a number of powerful portfolios in Canberra.
“I didn’t consider it at the time, given everything else that was going on and the other priorities we were dealing with, that it was a matter that needed to be raised at that point. If I needed to use the powers then I would have disclosed them with the minister.”
His behavior, according to the scandalized former PM, was a result of people “not having walked in my shoes”
“You’re standing on the shore after the fact,” he said to one journalist. “I was steering the ship in the middle of the tempest.”
“We took decisions, I did as a prime minister, we did as a cabinet, at federal and state level that some of us would never have dreamed that we would ever have to make,” Morrison said of his actions.“I think there was a great risk that in the midst of that crisis those powers could be misinterpreted and misunderstood, which would have caused unnecessary angst in the middle of a pandemic and could have impacted the day-to-day functioning of the government."
Incumbent PM Anthony Albanese on Wednesday accused Morrison of a “clear misleading of parliament”, and that Morrison should apologize to the Australian people.
Albanese announced on Monday that Canberra is looking into claims that ex-PM Scott Morrison had given himself the power to co-minister the health, finance and resources ministries during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This isn't some, you know, local footy club. This is a government of Australia, where the people of Australia were kept in the dark as to what the ministerial arrangements were, it's completely unacceptable. There is an absolute need for clear transparency to come through here," Albanese told journalists.