‘Intimidation and retribution’: Scott Morrison attacks government over censure motion

Scott Morrison has accused the Albanese government of “intimidation” and “retribution” as he became the first former prime minister to face a censure motion in parliament.

“Mr Speaker, I am proud of my achievements in this place, and I am proud of my government, Mr Speaker. I am proud Mr Speaker [that] at a time of extreme trial, my government stood up and faced the abyss of uncertainty that our country looked into and the coercion of a region and saw Australia through the storm,” Morrison told the House of Representatives on Wednesday morning.

“Australia emerged stronger under my government. I have no intention now of submitting to the political intimidation of this government, using its numbers in this place to impose its retribution on a political opponent.”

Leader of the house Tony Burke moved the motion that Morrison for failing to disclose his five secret ministries to parliament, his cabinet colleagues, and the Australian people.

Burke said Morrison’s actions “undermined responsible government and eroded public trust in Australia’s democracy”.

“Today is not how any office wanted to make history,” Burke said.

“But censure, while rare, has its place.”

The motion also contains the findings of the inquiry by former High Court judge Virginia Bell, who said the former prime minister “fundamentally undermined” the principles of responsible government because he was not responsible to the parliament, and that his actions were “corrosive of trust in government”.

The text of the censure motion also notes the constitution provides for responsible government in which the executive is accountable to the parliament and through that, to the voters.

More to come.

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