After announcing her resignation as Minister for Foreign Affairs last month, Julie Bishop has now opened up about what the future has in store for her political career.
While there’s been plenty of speculation that her time in parliament is far from over, the 62-year-old has spoken candidly about her plans with the ABC. She has confirmed that she will recontest her Western Australian seat of Curtin at the next federal election.
Bishop cited “overwhelming support” from her electorate for her reason and also said Australia needs stability when it comes to politics.
“I think their interests come first,” Bishop told the ABC. “It’s very much a personal decision for me, but I believe the country needs stability and continuity at present.”
Bishop’s comments come the leadership spill which saw her end her 11-year reign as deputy Liberal leader and five years as foreign minister.
According to the ABC, new prime minister Scott Morrison confirmed he had spoken to Bishop about her political future, describing the move as “absolutely tremendous”.
Bishop has also spoken about the chain of events and actions that saw her move to the backbench when former pm Malcolm Turnbull was ousted as leader of the Liberal Party.
“I just felt it was best I not be part of that cabinet,” she told Post Newspapers in Perth on Saturday. “I got caught up in unbelievable conflict between the Left and the Right of my party.”
Bishop had originally denied she would run for the job but, following Turnbull’s announcement that he would not contest a second challenge if a spill motion passed, she opted to stand against Peter Dutton and former Treasurer Scott Morrison. Following her failed bid, Bishop made the decision to give up her ministerial duties.
She also pondered whether it could be attributed to a “Queensland influence” on the Liberal party, particularly after none of her 11 fellow West Australian MPs pledged their support to the former cabinet minister.
“It surprised me,” she said. “I always believed West Australians had a responsibility to look out for the interests of this state. “There certainly is a Queensland influence, no question.”
Bishop fought back tears last month when she spoke to reporters outside of Parliament House, explaining that she felt “optimistic about her future”. During that speech, she admitted the recent spill left her and others “personally devastated”.
Leaked WhatsApp messages were broadcast by the ABC’s Insiders programme, allegedly showing correspondence between Liberal politicians who were urging her supporters to vote for Scott Morrison instead.