Christian Porter has resigned from the Morrison cabinet following the revelation that a secret benefactor was funding his legal fees.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed the recent development in his former minister’s career at a press conference yesterday afternoon. According to Morrison, Porter was unable to disclose the identity of his benefactor(s).
“And as a result of him acknowledging that, he has this afternoon taken the appropriate course of action to uphold those [ministerial] standards by tendering his resignation as a minister this afternoon, and I have accepted his resignation,” Morrison said.
“His actions have been about upholding the standards [of ministers] … We believe they are incredibly important, and it is not just about actual conflicts, it’s about the standards for ministers to have an obligation to avoid any perception of conflicts of interest that is ultimately what has led the Minister to make that decision this afternoon.”
The move will see the former Minister for Industry, Science and Technology move to the backbench. Angus Taylor, the current Minister for Energy and Emissions Reductions will be taking over his former colleague’s role for the time being.
Mysterious yet transparent abuse of power. There’s no way $1 million would be unconditional.
For the nation’s former highest law maker to claim ignorance of their financial aid is as insulting as Scott claiming ignorance of an alleged rape down the hall.https://t.co/JOwhrFYz9k
— Grace Tame (@TamePunk) September 15, 2021
In a statement released on Sunday, Porter thanked the Prime Minister and his party “for their fellowship and support”.
The development comes after historic rape allegations were leveled against the former attorney-general in an online article published by the media outlet. Allegedly, Porter was the perpetrator of three violent rapes against an unnamed woman in 1988 when they were both teenagers.
The allegations led the politician to file a defamation case against ABC and the author of the article, journalist Louise Milligan.
Porter used the 1600-word aforementioned statement as an opportunity to slam the organisation and plead his innocence.
“The most frightening indicator that the public broadcaster was central to this shift to a presumption of guilt in a trial by media is the fact that the ABC – seemingly with great care and effort – has reported only those parts of the information that it has in its possession which feeds into its narrative of guilt,” the statement reads.
“Having set in motion its trail by accusation, the ABC unleashed the Twitter version of an angry mob.”
“Facing a false allegation is an experience that places your family, friends and staff under enormous and cruel pressure. It has resulted in constant abuse and ongoing threats.”
David Speers: As a minister of the Crown, would you accept an anonymous donation?
Simon Birmingham: I’m not going to go into personal opinions.
— Lisa Wilkinson (@Lisa_Wilkinson) September 18, 2021
According to the ABC themselves, Porter decided to drop his case against them and Milligan in May.
“All parties have agreed to not pursue the matter any further. No damages will be paid,” they wrote in an article.