PM expected to dump two cabinet ministers

·2-min read

Scott Morrison insists his team has never been more united as he prepares to dump two cabinet ministers in an attempt to pull his government out of a deepening crisis.

The prime minister has also laughed off speculation about his own leadership, claiming his position is absolutely safe.

Mr Morrison said he had received "tremendous support" from all of his colleagues throughout a furore over the treatment of women.

"Our party has never been more united," he told ABC radio on Thursday.

Christian Porter is expected to be stripped of his attorney-general portfolio while he sues the ABC over its reporting of rape allegations, which he denies.

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds is also set to shift positions in the looming reshuffle, which is expected over the weekend.

"I'm not speculating on any of these decisions," Mr Morrison said.

"All I can say is that when I make decisions on these matters I will communicate them and my reasons for them."

Mr Morrison has received advice from the solicitor-general about direct conflicts of interest that might arise from Mr Porter's legal action.

He has also sought advice from his department in relation to the attorney-general and ministerial standards concerning perceived conflicts of interest.

"I'm working through those issues with the attorney at the moment," Mr Morrison said.

"He's not returning to work for another week or so yet, and that will be done in time for his return."

The prime minister paid tribute to Mr Porter and Senator Reynolds during Question Time on Thursday, when asked by Labor about a series of scandals impacting his cabinet team in recent years.

"I am very confident about all of my members because they continue to perform in their roles," he said.

He thanked Senator Reynolds for her work in dealing with the Black Summer bushfires and Mr Porter for introducing foreign interference legislation.

Mr Porter has been on stress leave since publicly naming himself as the minister against whom a historical rape allegation had been made.

He strongly denies the allegation and has launched defamation action against the ABC.

Acting Attorney-General Michaelia Cash appears the most likely to replace him.

Senator Reynolds went on leave a month ago to receive treatment for a pre-existing heart condition.

At the time, she was facing intense pressure over her handling of rape allegations raised by former staffer Brittany Higgins.

Both ministers are set to return in coming weeks.

Senator Reynolds could be replaced in defence by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, with his domestic security duties given to Stuart Robert.

This would allow the prime minister to hand responsibility for delivering government services to Senator Reynolds, should he keep her on the front bench.