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Scott Morrison ‘addicted to power’, should have resigned: Alex Hawke

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Hawke said he advised Morrison not to choose Katherine Deves as the Liberal candidate for Warringah, but the former prime minister was determined to select her.

Moderate Liberals believe Deves’ inflammatory views about transgender people made the party appear extreme and cost them votes in inner-city seats.

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Savva explores the impact of Morrison’s Christian faith on his prime ministership in detail, writing his colleagues believe it “drove him, made him immoveable, more resistant to logical explanations”.

“I have been mocked every day because of my faith because I am a Pentecostal,” she quotes Morrison telling colleagues after religious freedom laws failed to pass parliament in February.

“I have surrendered this battle to God now. I have said, over to you.”

Announcing a historic censure motion against Morrison on Monday, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said: “The former prime minister wasn’t responsible to the parliament – and through the parliament to the electors – to the departments that he was appointed to administer.

“And that had [the] real consequence of acting to undermine public confidence in government and were corrosive of trust in government.”

Manager of opposition business Paul Fletcher indicated the opposition would not support the censure motion, labelling it a “political stunt”.

Liberal MP Bridget Archer left open the possibility she could cross the floor to censure Morrison, saying she was considering her position.

Hawke told Savva he believed Morrison would “probably” have won another term if he had called an early election in 2021 rather than wait until May this year.

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This would have allowed Morrison to face voters before anger erupted at a shortage of rapid antigen tests and the “teal” candidates consolidated their appeal in inner-city Sydney and Melbourne.

“It was ridiculous to think we would have a good summer,” Hawke said.

“The rule is, go when you think you can win.”

Savva writes that former employment minister Stuart Robert, another close Morrison ally, told colleagues from “both sides of politics” that Morrison refused to sign off on a $600 million skills package for NSW because he hated the state’s Liberal treasurer Matt Kean.

Robert told Savva he could not remember saying this, but multiple sources said they recalled him making the claim.

Savva approached Morrison twice seeking an interview for the book, which is published on December 1, and was refused.

Cut through the noise of federal politics with news, views and expert analysis from Jacqueline Maley. Subscribers can sign up to our weekly Inside Politics newsletter here.



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