Former prime minister Scott Morrison to resign from politics

The former Liberal leader will pursue a career in the corporate sector.

Former prime minister Scott Morrison has announced he will end his political career to join the corporate sector, a move that is set to spark a by-election in the coming months.

The Liberal politician, who entered parliament as the member for Cook in 2007, announced his departure on social media on Tuesday.

He said on Facebook that after 16 years as member for Cook in Sydney's south he'll "take on new challenges in the global corporate sector and spend more time with my family".

Morrison was Australia’s 30th prime minister, serving for almost four years between 2018 and 2022.

Scott Morrison sitting in Parliament during Question Time.
Scott Morrison announced his resignation on Tuesday. Source: AAP

"I am extremely grateful to my family, friends, local community and local party members and supporters in Cook for their incredible support during this time, that has enabled me to serve my country at the highest level and make Australia a stronger, more secure and more prosperous country," he wrote.

"I also want to wish Peter Dutton and his team all the very best and congratulate him on the great job he has done leading our party and the Coalition since the last election."

In a formal statement on his official website, Morrison wrote that he was "looking forward to new challenges and he would be taking up a series of global strategic advisory roles and private boards, focused on the US and Indo-Pacific".

Scott Morrison’s time as Prime Minister

Morrison joined the cabinet as Immigration Minister in 2013, before he was promoted to Social Services Minister in 2014 and then treasurer in 2015. He became Liberal Party leader and Prime Minister in August 2018 after Malcolm Turnbull was challenged for leadership. He won a second term in the 2019 federal election.

Morrison’s second term was clouded with controversy – first for his decision to take a holiday to Hawaii during the Black Summer bushfires. While praised for his initial handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, he was later condemned for his government’s slow rollout of Covid-19 vaccines.

Speculation over the former PM’s resignation has come since the brutal 2022 federal election loss where the Liberal party lost 18 seats to Labor, the Greens and independents.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife Jenny
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife Jenny during his election campaign in 2022. Source: Getty

It later emerged Morrison had secretly appointed himself to several ministerial positions during his time as leader. Despite criticism and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese calling on his predecessor to apologise, Morrison remained defiant as many called for his resignation from politics.

Last year, a royal commission into the government’s Robodebt scheme, designed to recover supposed overpayments from welfare recipients, found that Morrison — who was Social Services Minister at the time — had "allowed the cabinet to be misled" about whether legislation was required to raise debts through a method known as "income averaging". In response, Morrison said Labor was pursuing a campaign of “political lynching” against him.

One of his greatest achievements in office was the AUKUS trilateral security partnership for the Indo-Pacific region between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Backbencher searching for opportunities outside of politics

Since returning to the backbenches, Morrison has raised eyebrows with his extracurricular activities and attempts to pursue opportunities outside of politics.

In September 2022, Morrison updated his Register of Interests, declaring he has taken on a role on the advisory board of a global political organisation which calls itself the International Democrat Union.

He also denied making a bid to join rugby league’s governing board, the Australian Rugby League Commission, describing the reports as “a bit of pub talk”.

By-election in Cook to come

His resignation is set to trigger a by-election in the southern Sydney electorate of Cook.

"By giving advance notice of my intention to leave parliament at the end of February, this will give my party ample time to select a great new candidate who I know will do what's best for our community and bring fresh energy and commitment to the job," Morrison said.

Mr Morrison continues to live in the Sutherland Shire with his wife Jenny and their two teenage girls.

with AAP

Do you have a story tip? Email:

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube.