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Australian PM Sets Aside 2 Ministers and Takes on Extra Women in Government

In Australia, two ministers are losing their portfolios because they were involved in a sexual abuse scandal.


Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also appointed 5 additional women to his administration to stem the storm of criticism of sexist culture within the political class.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison stripped Defense Secretary Linda Reynolds and Justice Secretary Christian Porter from their portfolios over two abuse scandals in which they were loosely wrapped. The two will remain part of the government.

Brittany Higgings, an associate of the Prime Minister’s Liberal Party, accused a colleague of raping her in Reynolds’ office in 2019 after a night out. Higgings did not go to the police because she feared the charge would harm her career. After she resigned at the beginning of this year, she turned to the media.

The colleague who allegedly raped her had already been fired by then. Not because of the rape, but because he had visited Reynolds’s office, which was against the rules. Reynolds herself called Higgings a “lying cow” after her accusation in the media. Afterwards, she apologized for this.

Christian Porter himself was accused of rape. He is said to have raped a 16-year-old girl in 1988. Porter herself was one or two years older than her at the time. The woman told her story in letters to politicians. Shortly afterwards, she took her own life. Porter denies the charge. The police no longer opened an investigation, saying that there was not enough evidence because the prosecutor was no longer alive.

Reynolds and Porter have been on sick leave recently but are now losing their ministerial portfolio and being transferred to another department.

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