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Scott Morrison’s secret ministries: Albanese to make public legal advice about potential rule breach

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has confirmed he will make public on Tuesday the legal advice on Scott Morrison secretly appointing himself to five portfolios.

Mr Albanese said he would be briefed by the Secretary of Prime Minister and Cabinet Glyn Davis on Monday afternoon on whether the former Prime Minister breached any rules.

The Labor leader will first meet with Cabinet in Canberra on Tuesday to discuss the advice from the Solicitor-General before making it public.

“I intend to release that advice so that people can see it and be transparent about it, and we will because my government is an orderly government,” Mr Albanese said.

“We have Cabinet meetings tomorrow. I think politeness and proper process mean that they should have access to it. I will do that and I intend to release the advice tomorrow.”

There are growing calls for an inquiry into Mr Morrison’s decision to secretly swear himself in as the joint minister for health, finance, treasury, home affairs, and industry, science, energy and resources between March 2020 and May 2021.

The Prime Minister argued even if the former Liberal leader did not break the law by his actions, he said questions still needed to be answered.

“There have been questions raised about how this could occur, how it fits in with the conventions and the normal accountability mechanisms and checks and balances that are there in our parliamentary democracy,” he said.

“I will await and consider the advice properly. I will release it publicly. I am giving that commitment so that everyone will have the opportunity to see the advice for themselves. There is a basic fundamental weakness in checks and balances if no-one knows who the minister is, then how can they be held to account for decisions which are made?

“That is why there is a need in a parliamentary democracy, and in our Westminster system of cabinet government, for cabinet to be aware, let alone the Australian people to be aware of who is responsible for what at any particular time.”

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