Julie Bishop resigns as Foreign Minister

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Canberra: Julie Bishop resigned as the Australian Foreign Minister on Sunday, after newly-appointed Prime Minister Scott Morrison named his cabinet following his win in a bruising leadership contest.

In an online statement, Bishop, 62, announced: “Today I advised the Prime Minister that I will be resigning from my cabinet position as Minister for Foreign Affairs.

“I will remain on the backbench as a strong voice for Western Australia.

“I have been pre-selected by the Liberal party for the seat of Curtin but I have made no decision regarding the next election.”

Morrison has announced that New South Wales Senator Marise Payne would take over as Foreign Minister.

Bishop’s resignation creates more unrest amid the upheaval of the Liberal-National Coalition government, the Guardian reported.

Bishop ran against Morrison and Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton in Friday’s leadership spill, but garnered only 11 votes in the 85-strong party room.

The leadership fight also ended her 11-year tenure as deputy leader of the ruling Liberal Party.

Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who was ousted on Friday, took to Twitter on Sunday to thank Bishop, his longtime friend as “Australia’s finest foreign affairs minister”.

“I thank Julie for her loyalty and friendship over many years but especially as my deputy,” Turnbull said. “She has been and remains an inspiring role model for women here and around the world.”

Australia, for the past decade, has been marked by a series of leadership coups, with three other sitting prime ministers deposed by party rivals, reports the BBC.

(Agencies)

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