Australian PM Scott Morrison leader makes Cabinet moves after sex scandals

Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrives for Question Time in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison reshuffled his Cabinet on Monday as he sought to fix his standing following a series of damaging allegations about the mistreatment of female lawmakers and staff.

Attorney-General Christian Porter lost his role to Senator Michaelia Cash.

Porter will be reassigned to industry minister, while Reynolds will become the government services minister.

A shambolic press conference by Scott Morrison the next day, in which he falsely claimed News Corp Australia - publisher of news.com.au - was subject to its own harassment investigation, saw criticism intensify.

The former Liberal Party staffer has alleged she was raped at Parliament House in Defence Minister Linda Reynolds' ministerial office by a colleague. Mr Porter faced historic rape allegations where he was accused of raping a now-deceased woman he knew as a 17-year-old when she was 16. Earlier this month it emerged she'd called Ms Higgins a "lying cow" in reference to certain elements of her story detailed in national media.

Ministers Linda Reynolds and Christian Porter have been stripped of their portfolios.


Morrison, who on Saturday reprimanded one of his lawmakers for bullying two women constituents, has ordered a probe into parliament's workplace culture but critics say he has failed to map out any new policy initiatives to address the broader issues of sexism and violence against women.

"The changes I'm announcing today will once again, provide the strongest ever female representation in an Australian Government cabinet", he told reporters on Monday. Mr. Morrison will co-chair the taskforce along with Marise Payne, the Minister for Women.

"But it's not just about the size of the female contingent in my cabinet; it's the skills and the experience, it's the perspective, and it's the collaboration they bring to our nation's most hard tasks", Morrison said.

Morrison has struggled to placate public anger amid allegations of sexual abuse, discrimination against women and misconduct in parliament.

Taking to Twitter Scott Morrison said, "Wishing our Hindu Australian community, my good friend Narendra Modi and all the people who are celebrating it, a happy and colourful Holi!". "These events have triggered, right across this building and indeed right across the country, women who have put up with this rubbish and this crap for their entire lives, as their mothers did, as their grandmothers did". "That will slow us down, that will not get the outcomes".

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