Christopher Pyne expected to quit federal politics after two decades as a Liberal MP

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Christopher Pyne expected to quit federal politics after two decades as a Liberal MP

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Updated

March 01, 2019 15:15:24

Senior Cabinet minister and long-serving Liberal Christopher Pyne is expected to retire at the next election.

Key points:

  • Christopher Pyne to quit federal politics after 26 years as South Australian Liberal MP
  • The Defence Minister has been a Cabinet minister since 2013
  • It follows a string of ministers to announce their retirements

The 51-year-old South Australian MP has spent half his life in federal politics and been a senior figure within the party for the last decade.

Multiple well placed sources have told the ABC the Defence Minister will announce his retirement tomorrow.

He dismissed speculation but refused to rule out an impending retirement when asked about it on Sky News today.

The ABC has contacted Mr Pyne for comment.

Pyne’s political career

  • Elected Member for Sturt aged 25 in 1993
  • Became Minister for Ageing in 2007
  • Lost deputy leader vote against Julie Bishop
  • Promoted to shadow cabinet in 2008
  • Became Leader of the House in 2013
  • Held defence, education and industry portfolios

He joins a string of senior Liberals to announce their retirement ahead of the federal election.

He follows ministers Kelly O’Dwyer, Michael Keenan, Nigel Scullion in leaving politics. Steve Ciobo is expected to also announce his retirement tomorrow.

Former deputy leader and current backbencher, Julie Bishop, will also retire at the election.

The looming departures come after the Parliament’s biggest scalp, former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, who has already quit politics.

Speculation had been mounting in recent weeks that Mr Pyne was reassessing his future despite repeatedly insisting he would recontest his seat.

The senior Liberal leader has been one of the Government’s most high-profile figures, thanks in part to weekly appearances with Labor’s Anthony Albanese on Channel Nine’s Today Show.

He proved a viral hit following an interview on Sky News, in which he proudly and repeatedly dubbed himself a “fixer”.

Mr Pyne first entered politics aged 25, winning the eastern Adelaide seat of Sturt in 1993.

“Politics and the things that governments do affect all our lives,” he told the Parliament in his maiden speech.

“The contribution that politicians can make to society is vastly underestimated and their worth is undervalued.”

Mr Pyne comfortably gained re-election in seven of the eight votes he contested in the years since.

He faced his biggest political scare in 2007, as Labor swept to power after 11 years of Coalition government.

In that election, Mr Pyne retained his seat with 50.9 per cent of the two-candidate preferred vote count.

He currently holds his seat with a 5.4 per cent margin.

Topics:

government-and-politics,

liberals,

sa,

australia

First posted

March 01, 2019 15:00:37


Contact Brett Worthington



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