Australia’s prime minister says his predecessor «misled Parliament every day»

Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese – AAPIMAGE / DPA

Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has claimed that his predecessor in office, Scott Morrison, «misled Parliament every day,» after learning the findings of an inquiry into the former head of government’s secret decision to take over the functions of up to five ministries during the last two years of his tenure.

«He has misled Parliament every day he was there as prime minister (…) We were entitled to know that there were two people responsible (in each portfolio),» he has denounced.

Albanese has stated that his predecessor’s actions were unprecedented and wrong, while he has criticized that some ministers did not find out about the appointments until after the elections.

«A Cabinet cannot function when some members are complicit in secrecy. That is a characteristic of the Morrison government,» criticized the current premier, who pointed out that the members of the previous executive allowed «the culture of secrecy».

Thus, he said that «a dysfunctional government has now been replaced by a dysfunctional opposition», while the prime minister said that his current administration is «shining the light of the sun on a shadowy executive that preferred to operate in the dark».

Albanese said at a press conference following the release of the report by former Supreme Court Justice Virginia Bell that «the public did not know something they had a right to know».

In this line, the president said that this «is a scathing report, an indictment against the Morrison administration and the culture of secrecy».

«He clearly felt confident that he could consider that he was not part of a democratic government, that he was not subject to the conventions under which the Government and Parliament operate,» Albanese denounced.

The investigation published Friday concluded that Morrison’s appointments to up to five ministries eroded the confidence of the institutions. The former High Court judge has refuted Morrison’s claims that he granted himself the powers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this regard, she has responded that the self-appointments to the Treasury, Interior or Industry portfolios had «little or no connection to the pandemic.» Morrison, in turn, was appointed Minister of Health and Finance. In addition, Bell has revealed that the former prime minister sought advice to take over the Environment post, «but ultimately decided not to continue.»