Scott Morrison has been announced as leader of the Liberal party and Australia’s 30th Prime Minister, following a leadership vote.
Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is expected to resign as a member of parliament after a spill motion saw a majority 45 Liberal MPs vote against him being leader.
The vote was tighter than anticipated, with 40 MPs voting to keep Turnbull in his position, suggesting the party was truly divided.
Bishop was eliminated in the first round of voting, before Morrison received a majority 45 votes, trumping Dutton’s 40 votes.
As reported in the Star Observer, Morrison, a former Minister for Immigration and No voter in the postal survey, was adamant that it was “okay to say No” during the marriage debate last year.
He also defended Israel Folau earlier this year when the rugby star came under fire for posting a handful of anti-gay messages on social media, saying that “hell was God’s plan for gay people”.
“Good for him for standing up for his faith,” Morrison said.
“I think he wouldn’t have wanted to intend to have offended or hurt anyone, because that’s very much against the faith that he feels so passionately about, but he’s shown I think a lot of strength of character in just standing up for what he believes in, and I think that’s what this country’s all about.”
LGBTI advocacy group just.equal has called on Morrison to govern for all Australians, including members of the LGBTI community.
“We’re concerned that Morrison opposed marriage equality during the postal survey, and is a proponent of so-called ‘religious freedom’ laws that would allow greater discrimination against LGBTI people,” spokesperson Rodney Croome said.
“We hope Morrison will govern for all Australians, and not use ‘religious freedom’ as an excuse to erode equal rights and protections for LGBTI Australians.
“Our message to Morrison is that LGBTI people are Australians too, are as Prime Minister he has a duty to look after our welfare and protect our rights along with all other Australians.”
Josh Frydenberg has been elected deputy leader.