Mirabella out of cabinet consideration

By on September 21, 2019

first_imgAfter a pledge by Tony Abbott to include Sophie Mirabella in his frontbench team, the shadow minister pressed the ejector seat on Thursday as speculation mounted over her ability to hold the seat of Indi. The Liberal MP pulled herself out of contention for a cabinet spot after having spoken to the prime minister-elect. With vote counting continuing in her regional Victorian seat and Independent candidate Cathy McGowan in the lead by more than 1000 votes, Ms Mirabella said: “It is now time that our new Prime Minister has absolute freedom to select his new front bench. “As my own future in the Parliament is not assured, I have asked that I not be considered for selection.” Ms Mirabella held the innovation, industry and science portfolio in opposition and was expected to keep the role. Her loss will make it even more difficult for Mr Abbott to create gender equality in his ministerial lineup. Apart from Deputy Liberal Leader Julie Bishop, Indi’s sitting member was the only woman in the shadow cabinet. Meanwhile, her nemesis Cathy McGowan admitted to “an outbreak of hope” on Thursday although has not claimed victory. The Independent candidate’s election chances received a boost last week with the discovery of an extra 1003 votes in her favour following an accounting error by the electoral commission. The ‘Monopoly’-like dividend could be crucial in the final analysis. Given the close margin a recount that could not start until the end of next week is likely. Stalked by her critics for expressing controversial views on Muslim women wearing hijabs, asylum seekers and the ‘stolen generations’, in 2004 Mirabella had 62.6 per cent of the vote in Indi. That support has dropped to less than 50 per cent. Yesterday Tony Abbott thanked his former shadow minister for her “tireless efforts” in bringing the Coalition to power. “I pay tribute to Sophie Mirabella and thank her for her magnanimity in ensuring the continuing vote count in Indi does not hinder formation of the new ministry,” he said in a statement. “I have valued Sophie’s friendship for over a quarter of a century. She has been a trusted colleague and a senior member of my shadow cabinet. “Her relentless pursuit of the Gillard/Rudd governments’ carbon tax broken promise and her support for our manufacturing industries was an important factor in the Coalition’s election victory last Saturday.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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