ScoMo’s promise on election timing

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Scott Morrison has made Australian voters a promise after reshuffling his senior leadership team following a fresh scandal.

Scott Morrison has laughed off speculation of calling an early election after reshuffling his senior leadership team yet again.

The latest reshuffle was triggered by Christian Porter quitting the front bench.

Mr Porter resigned after refusing to disclose the secret donors who bankrolled his legal challenge against the ABC.

His portfolios will be divvied up between two existing cabinet ministers.

Energy Minister Angus Taylor will take on industry.

Defence Industry Minister Melissa has been given responsibility for science and technology.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has been promoted to cabinet while another longtime Morrison supporter, West Australian Ben Morton, will be added to the ministry.

Mr Morton, previously an assistant minister, will be promoted to Special Minister of State and Minister for the Public Service.

Liberal MP Tim Wilson, from the blue ribbon Melbourne seat of Goldstein, will also join the frontbench as the assistant minister for industry, energy and emissions reduction.

Mr Morrison denied the cabinet switch up, which he announced in tandem with the reopening of Australia’s international borders, was a signal he was preparing for an early election.

“No. I’ve been very clear about this over a very long time,” he said.

“I don’t know what more I have to say to the press gallery here in Canberra. I’ve probably been more clear about that than any other prime minister.”

The latest date a federal election could be called is Saturday, May 21 next year.

Asked if he would take advantage of the newly announced travel rules to attend a major climate summit at the end of the month, Mr Morrison gave his strongest indication yet he would not make the trip to Cop26.

“If I do that I will have spent, a total of four times, 14-day quarantine, basically in this building, not being able to engage in my normal duties around the country as much as I would like to,” he told reporters.

“That’s a long time for a prime minister to be in quarantine in a six-month period.

“What matters is the commitments that we will make.”

Originally published as Scott Morrison says he won’t call an early election

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