Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce ‘would put money on’ recently resigned minister Christian Porter who one day returned to the front bench – after he quit over mysterious money that helped fund his defamation lawsuit against the ABC
- Christian Porter resigned Sunday after revealing he was accepting mystery money
- This money was used to finance his defamation lawsuit against the ABC
- So far Mr Porter has not explained who the mysterious benefactor is
- Barnaby Joyce believes Mr Porter will one day be back in the front seat
Barnaby Joyce expects former federal secretary Christian Porter to return to the front bench one day after he quit for not explaining who funded his defamation lawsuit.
Mr Porter resigned after revealing he was accepting mystery money through a ‘blind trust’ for part of his legal action against the ABC over rape allegations over 30 years ago.
While the former industry minister does not believe he has violated ministerial standards, he does not want to be a “very useless distraction” for the coalition government.
Joyce, the deputy prime minister, believes his colleague’s resignation is justified.
Mr Porter resigned after revealing he was accepting mystery money through a ‘blind trust’ for part of his legal action against the ABC following rape allegations over 30 years ago
“He, like so many of us, has gone to the corridor of the near-death,” he told Seven Network on Monday.
“I bet his electorate won’t leave him. He’s an incredibly astute politician, he’s incredibly capable.
“I’ll bet we see him again.”
Employment Secretary Stuart Robert defended Mr Porter as ‘an incredibly decent and smart operator’.
“He released a statement yesterday, it’s heartbreaking to read when you look at what he’s been through,” Mr. Robert told the Nine Network.
Mr Porter insisted that the trustee had assured him that no money had come from lobbyists or banned foreign entities.
He didn’t want to ‘pressurize’ the trust for more information, because then they would become ‘targets of the social media mob’.
“I bet his electorate won’t leave him. He’s an incredibly smart politician, he’s incredibly capable,” Joyce said
“In the end, I have decided that if I have to choose between trying to pressure the trust to break the confidentiality of individuals to remain in the Cabinet, or alternatively relinquishing my Cabinet position, there is only one choice which is I, in good conscience, can, make,” Mr Porter said in a lengthy statement.
He launched defamation charges against the ABC after it published a story about Mr Porter’s historic sexual abuse allegation against a now-deceased woman.
The MP strenuously denied the claim and the matter was settled for trial.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Mr Porter has taken appropriate steps to uphold ministerial standards by stepping down.
The opposition promises to prosecute the former minister over the matter, including through the parliament’s Privileges Committee.
Outgoing Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon called Mr Porter’s resignation inevitable.
“It closes another sad chapter in the Prime Minister’s slowness to act on these ministerial standards,” he told Seven News.