The Morrison Government is expected to lose yet another minister in the lead up to the Federal election with Defence Minister Christopher Pyne predicted to announce his resignation from politics this weekend.
According to the ABC, sources have claimed the 51-year-old will step down from his position at the upcoming election. He is expected to announce his departure on Saturday.
The news follows reports from The Sydney Morning Herald on Friday morning that Pyne and Defence Industry minister Steve Ciobo will depart politics for good prior to the election.
This came after Pyne addressed reporters in a press conference that morning where he was asked about his intention to run or not to run at the May poll.
“I have dismissed this question for weeks, so it doesn’t seem to matter what I say in response to the question, the speculation seems to continue,” The Sydney Morning Herald reports he said.
“I’m not going to add any more to what I’ve said about this before. I don’t think there’s any point in adding to the speculation.”
Meanwhile, the publication first reported on Friday morning that Ciobo was expected to announce his retirement as soon as Friday.
According to the ABC he plans to resign from the position “very soon”, with plans to take on a job overseas.
If both ministers resign it will increase the total of number resignations from the party in the past few months to six. Just weeks ago, Julie Bishop announced she would not be recontesting her seat of Curtin, in Western Australia, at the upcoming federal election, which is expected to be set for May 11 or 18.
Prior to that Liberal Minister Michael Keenan, Nationals senator Nigel Scullion and Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations Kelly O’Dwyer also announced their resignations.
Pyne has been a member of the Liberal Party for 25 years. Throughout his career he has held various positions including Leader of the House, Minister for Education, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Minister for Defence Industry and most recently Minister for Defence, which was appointed in 2018 following the leadership spill.