The insulting moment that convinced Christian Porter he had to quit politics is revealed – and it has NOTHING to do with unproven rape claims against the former attorney-general
- Christian Porter resigned from two different ministerial positions in 2021
- The West Australian retired as an MP this week to spend more time with family
- He may be headed back to a legal career or into the corporate world
Though Christian Porter’s resignation from parliament had long been predicted and expected, the last straw may not have been about unproven rape allegations.
Nor was it anything to do with his lawsuit against the ABC over the airing of those allegations.
Instead, the final straw that broke the camel’s back, or at the very least added insult to injury, was something much more mundane – having to watch praise heaped on his successor as attorney-general.
Christian Porter (pictured left) with his estranged wife Jennifer (pictured right). Porter has resigned from the federal parliament
On Tuesday last week, Mr Porter was judged by colleagues in the Coalition party room to be furious at the huge praise being given to fellow West Australian Michaelia Cash.
One MP, who spoke about the Religious Discrimination Act, praised Ms Cash and said the previous versions of the bill had been a ‘dog’s breakfast’.
Those ‘dog’s breakfasts’ all came under Mr Porter’s time as attorney-general.
The West Australian newspaper reported that he was ‘seething’ at the disrespect he felt had been shown to him right in front of his face.
He was reportedly so incensed that he was on the verge of resigning that day.
After thinking better of it, he instead hoped to announce his resignation and give a final speech last Thursday, allowing him to skip the last week of parliament and head home to Perth.
He knew the final week of sitting, possibly the final week before the coming election, would feature a great deal of news about the treatment of women due to the launch of Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins’ review into parliament’s toxic culture.
Mr Porter’s resignation as attorney-general last March followed allegations that he was involved in a rape when he was 17.
Minister for Employment Michaelia Cash during a division in the Senate chamber at Parliament House in Canberra
He denies all allegations and was cleared by the NSW police – the alleged incident happened in Sydney.
The police found there was not enough evidence to investigate the matter.
He was moved to the position of Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying this was a compromise due to advice from the solicitor-general regarding whether Mr Porter could remain as attorney-general while taking legal action against the ABC.
Mr Porter resigned from cabinet entirely on September 19 after it was revealed he had accepted anonymous donations from a blind trust to cover his legal expenses.
But his plan to give a speech last week and take an early mark didn’t happen.
It is thought that Prime Minister Scott Morrison asked him not to do that but to instead issue a statement.
He posted that statement to Facebook, and in it said ‘there appears to be no limit to what some will say or allege to do to gain an advantage over a perceived enemy’.
Mr Porter says he wants to spend more time with his children – he is separated from his wife Jennifer.
But with friends – even if he does not know who they are – prepared to pay a lot of money to cover his legal costs, a return to law or big business can only be a matter of time.