Australian Defence Minister dismisses reports of plan to depose PM

Australia’s Defence Minister Peter Dutton on Tuesday rejected reports suggesting he is preparing to depose Prime Minister Scott Morrison ahead of the general election this year.

Dutton insisted he is behind Morrison in the lead-up to the election, which is expected to be held in the first half of this year, reports Xinhua news agency.

It came after Bob Carr, a former Premier of New South Wales (NSW) and Foreign Minister, claimed Dutton was the government minister involved in a leaked text exchange that savaged Morrison’s character with then-NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Carr recently wrote on social media that “if Morrison has one more week in free fall the prospect of a leadership change pre-election is real”.

Dutton said on Tuesday that the accusation was untrue and baseless.

“I have been loyal to Scott Morrison from day one and I continue to be so, because I have seen what he has done in taking us through what has been a difficult situation,” he told local media.

Dutton was among a group of MPs who in 2018 manufactured the downfall of former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

He contested the subsequent leadership ballot to become Australia’s 30th Prime Minister but was defeated by Morrison.

Former Opposition Labor Party leader Bill Shorten, who was defeated by Morrison at the 2019 election, called for the government to “settle their internal fighting”.

“People have to be convinced about the merits of politics on a good day. But this government is hopelessly divided and we’ve got the aged care crisis,” he told Nine Network television.

“We’ve got people with disabilities risking Covid-19. I think the nation wants us to focus on the people, not on our own games and the ins and outs.”




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