Australia

Scott Morrison censured for secret ministries as motion passes parliament

Key Points
  • The motion to censure Scott Morrison passed 86 – 50 after a vote in the House of Representatives.
  • The former prime minister refused to apologise for secretly appointing himself to five portfolios.
  • One Coalition member, Bridget Archer, voted to condemn him, while Karen Andrews abstained from voting.
Former prime minister Scott Morrison has officially been censured in federal parliament for during his time as prime minister.
In a fiery defence of his record minutes before the vote, Mr Morrison refused to apologise for his “entirely necessary” actions, saying criticism is being made in the “calm of hindsight”.
He left the House of Representatives chamber soon afterwards, along with most Coalition MPs, and was not present to hear his successor Anthony Albanese describe the saga as an “abuse of power and a trashing of our democracy”.

One Liberal MP, Bridget Archer, voted to condemn her former leader, having labelled his actions “an affront to democracy”.

Liberal MP Bridget Archer voted to condemn Scott Morrison, having labelled his actions “an affront to democracy”. Source: AAP / Lukas Coch

Opposition home affairs spokeswoman Karen Andrews, who was among the ministers whose powers were co-opted when Mr Morrison was in power, did not vote in the motion. She had previously called for Mr Morrison to leave parliament when the scandal broke.
Ms Andrews said Labor had had “ample time” to implement tangible changes.

“I expected Labor to milk this and that is exactly what they did – this was never about fixing the problem, but a political stunt,” she said in a statement.

What is a censure?

are parliament’s way of formally expressing disapproval in an MP, and are decided by a vote in the chamber.

They can be used to condemn a party as a whole, usually the opposition, or an individual sitting in either house.

Because the government usually controls a majority in the lower house, you almost never see one of its members condemned there.
Censure motions have no direct powers, but are viewed as parliament condemning the subject’s behaviour.

This is a developing story and this article will be updated.

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