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Censure looms for former PM Scott Morrison

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Former prime minister Scott Morrison will likely face a censure motion in parliament over his decision to appoint himself to several secret ministries.

Federal cabinet will meet on Monday to discuss implementing recommendations from a report into Mr Morrison’s secret ministries and a possible censure motion.

Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke said while a decision on a censure would rest with cabinet, Mr Morrison had undermined the principles of responsible government.

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“If you’re not allowed to know who the ministers are when you’re directing questions, the whole concept collapses,” he told the ABC Insiders on Sunday.

“What happened with what Scott Morrison did wasn’t simply a decision of him on this particular matter – it had been enabled by behaviour for years.”

The report into Mr Morrison’s decision to appoint himself to five secret ministries was handed down on Friday by former High Court judge Virginia Bell.

The former prime minister’s conduct was labelled as corrosive of trust in government.

Ms Bell’s report outlined six recommendations including legislation requiring public notifications of the appointment of ministers.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said he intended to act on all the recommendations.

Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said Mr Morrison’s conduct was alarming but declined to confirm whether the censure would be carried out in parliament.

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“We’re actually using the cabinet process in the way it was intended and as the prime minister has flagged, we will be discussing the report,” she told Sky News on Sunday.

“He’s obviously indicated he will be recommending all recommendations of the Bell review be adopted.

“Any further action will be discussed in cabinet and I think that is the right process to take.”

In a statement on social media on Friday, Mr Morrison defended his actions, saying he would not step down from parliament following the report’s release.

– AAP

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