Malcolm Turnbull

'Congratulations to George': Brandis will leave for London after cabinet reshuffle


Social services minister Christian Porter has been tipped as the favourite to replace George Brandis as Attorney-General in a looming cabinet reshuffle expected on Tuesday.

Attorney-General George Brandis will soon stand down as Australia's chief legal officer ahead of his appointment to London as the new UK High Commissioner, his cabinet colleagues have all but confirmed. 

Senator Brandis' departure has been rumoured for weeks but was confirmed by Treasurer Scott Morrison in an interview with Channel Nine's Today show on Tuesday morning. 

Scott Morrison wishes George Brandis good luck in new UK post.
Scott Morrison wishes George Brandis good luck in new UK post.

"I mean, it's for the prime minister to make these announcements, but congratulations to George on a stellar career in Australian politics and for his leadership in the Senate," Mr Morrison said.

"It's been great to work with him and I'm sure he will do a great job where he's heading off to."

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is expected to announce a reshuffling of the government's leadership team as soon as Tuesday. 

Senator Brandis will stand down as Attorney-General and eventually leave the Senate when he is appointed High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, taking over from Alexander Downer who has held the post since 2014.

Mr Porter, a former WA state attorney-general, is currently Social Services Minister and his portfolio could be handed to Victorian Dan Tehan, according to The Australian.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is expected to vacate his agriculture portfolio, and pick up transport and infrastructure from his Nationals colleague, Darren Chester.

The fate of Mr Chester in the new coalition line-up is not clear but he could end up with agriculture, Fairfax Media reported.

However, new Deputy Nationals Leader Bridget McKenzie, who replaced disqualified senator Fiona Nash, is also expected to earn a cabinet spot and could also be a candidate for agriculture.

It is also expected cabinet secretary Arthur Sinodinos, who is battling illness, will not return to the cabinet table next year.

Elsewhere, Justice Minister Michael Keenan could be in line to take on a security role under the new Home Affairs mega portfolio to be overseen by current Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.

Former health minister and NSW Liberal Sussan Ley could also make a return to cabinet after she was forced to resign in January when questions were raised about her use of MP travel entitlements, Fairfax Media reported.

 - with AAP

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