Julie Bishop quits as foreign minister

Julie Bishop has quit as foreign minister under new Prime Minister Scott Morrison, but will stay in parliament.

Ms Bishop issued a statement on Sunday afternoon announcing her decision.

“Today I advised the Prime Minister that I will be resigning from my Cabinet position as Minister for Foreign Affairs,” she said.

“I will remain on the backbench as a strong voice for Western Australia.

“I have been pre-selected by the Liberal Party for the seat of Curtin and I have made no decision regarding the next election.”

Ms Bishop, 62, was deputy Liberal leader for more than a decade but she only received 11 votes in last Friday’s leadership ballot after Malcolm Turnbull called a spill.

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Julie Bishop has quit the front bench. Source: AAP

The long-serving foreign minister returned to Perth on Saturday.

“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.”

Education Minister Simon Birmingham earlier on Sunday said Ms Bishop was “the most significant woman in the history of the Liberal Party” and deserved to make a decision about her future without external pressure.

“We would love to see Julie continue, but that really is up to Julie,” he told the ABC on Sunday.

MP Melissa Price will be environment minister in the Morrison government, after serving as assistant minister in the portfolio in the Turnbull cabinet.

A spokeswoman told AAP on Sunday Ms Price was “honoured and thrilled”.

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Scott Morrison was announced as the new prime minister. Source: AAP

New prime minister Scott Morrison, who won the leadership ballot against Peter Dutton, is weighing up his new ministry to reunite the Liberal party.

Mr Dutton, the man who caused the leadership upheaval last week, has made it clear he would like to return as home affairs minister.

Senator Birmingham says he loves the education portfolio but is leaving the decision in the new prime minister’s hands.

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

Mr Morrison has indicated Mr Dutton and former finance minister Mathias Cormann would be welcome 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 Morrison is expected to announce his new front bench in the next few days.

 

 

 

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