Christian Porter (who has denied allegations of raping a 16-year-old girl in 1988) is set to lose his job as Attorney-General, while Defence Minister Linda Reynolds (who was Brittany Higgins‘s boss at the time she was allegedly raped inside Reynolds’ office) is also expected to lose her portfolio, the ABC reports, as the government grapples with multiple rape and sexual misconduct allegations.
The controversy surround the government relates not only to these two sets of allegations, but also other claims against Liberal politicians and/or staffers as well as the government’s pissweak response to it over the past few weeks.
Porter initially refused to step down when he identified himself as the subject of historic rape allegations from a woman who later took her own life.
At the time, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he backed Porter completely, however on Wednesday he indicated he was seeking advice in relation to Porter and ministerial standards.
“I am considering that advice with my department secretary, in terms of the application against the ministerial guidelines,” Morrison said told the Parliament during question time.
“And when I have concluded that assessment, I’ll make a determination and I’ll make an announcement at that time.”
Nevertheless, it’s likely Porter will still stay on as Industrial Relations Minister and therefore remain in the cabinet.
Porter is expected to be replaced by Michaelia Cash, who is currently the acting Attorney-General anyway.
Cash, of course, was embroiled in the Brittany Higgins rape allegations scandal, so even her temporary appointment as a fill-in for Porter raised eyebrows earlier in March.
Meanwhile Defence Minister Linda Reynolds is expected to be replaced by Peter Dutton.
Unlike Porter, who’ll still be part of the cabinet, Guardian Australia reports that Reynolds is expected to be dumped from the cabinet entirely.
It’s an interesting comparison to Cash’s promotion, considering they both employed Brittany Higgins and both have been criticised for handling the alleged incident poorly. Neverthelees, it was Reynolds who got busted calling Higgins a “lying cow”.
We should have the official conformation as to who’s going where by Friday. But what’s clear is that the compounding controversy from the multitude of sexual assault, harassment and misconduct allegations won’t be going away anytime soon.
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