'Devastated' Julie Bishop slams pollies' dirty tactics that cost her PM job

New PM Scott Morrison the immediate challenge facing his Liberals is healing their rifts

New PM Scott Morrison the immediate challenge facing his Liberals is healing their rifts

FOREIGN Minister Julie Bishop, a rare female voice in the Australian government, said on Sunday that she was quitting the frontbench after a failed tilt at the nation's top job during a messy party-room coup.

Morrison emerged as the surprise victor of Friday's party-room vote to replace Turnbull after a week of political chaos in Canberra that marked the emergence of Australia's sixth prime minister in less than 10 years.

On January 27, 2017, the day before Mr Turnbull had that hard phone call with US President Donald Trump, Ms Bishop used her own call with Vice President Mike Pence to shore up America's commitment to the contentious asylum-seeker deal.

Morrison was sworn in as the country's 30th leader late on Friday after a bitter Liberal Party revolt against moderate Turnbull driven by a hardline conservative faction.

Mr Morrison revealed that "more women have been appointed to Cabinet and the portfolios of Small Business" and "Industrial Relations have been returned to Cabinet level".

Morrison flew on Monday to rural western Queensland state, where crops are failing, and ranchers are struggling to feed sheep and cattle after six years of drought.

The reshuffled cabinet bookends a chaotic week in which Turnbull was ousted by his own party - the sixth time since 2007 that Australia has changed prime ministers.




Bishop was eliminated in the first round of voting during a three-way leadership battle alongside Morrison and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton on Friday to replace Turnbull.

"We've already got a lot of people in this space, I'd want to know exactly what value can I add given I'm already there as a backbencher and a former prime minister". None of the votes came from West Australians.

Meanwhile, Australia's new prime minister began his first full day Saturday with a phone call to Donald Trump as he set about restoring faith in his "battered and bruised" government after a tumultuous week. Turnbull's resignation from parliament was expected in the coming week.

Under the new Morrison government, Karen Andrews has been appointed as minister for Industry, Science and Technology; Michael Keenan kept hold of Human Services and Digital Transformation; Greg Hunt has kept Health; Christian Porter remains attorney-general; Marise Payne takes Foreign Affairs; Christopher Pyne gains Defence; Linda Reynolds gains the assistant minister for Home Affairs role; and David Coleman takes on Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs.

Turnbull had earlier given him Morrison his blessing to contest the leadership when he lost the majority support of his cabinet.

She has made no decision on whether she will stand at the next election.

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