Brough stands aside from ministerial portfolio
MAL Brough has stood down as Special Minister of State and Minister for Defence Materiel and Science pending the completion of Australian Federal Police inquiries into the Ashbygate Affair.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull made the announcement at the same time he revealed that Minister for Cities and Built Environment Jamie Briggs had resigned following a late night incident in a Hong Kong bar involving a female public servant during an official overseas visit.
Mr Brough's Alexandra Headland home was the subject of an Australian Federal Police raid in mid-November seeking evidence in relation to allegations he had procured James Ashby to secure notes from former Speaker Peter Slipper's diary. At the time Ashby was a public servant.
"Mal Brough and I have agreed he stand aside as Special Minister of State and Minister for Defence Materiel and Science pending the completion of inquiries by the police,'' the Prime Minister said in a statement.
"The Minister for Finance and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate, the Hon Mathias Cormann will act as Special Minister of State and the Minister of Defence Senator the Hon Marise Payne will act as Minister for Defence Materiel and Science.
"In offering to stand aside Mr Brough has done the right thing, recognising the importance of the Government maintaining an unwavering focus on jobs, economic growth and national security."
More to come.