Former Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, the highest-ranking woman to serve in a two-term government, announced her decision to quit politics. She will not contest May general election, Bishop added…reports Asian Lite News
Bishop served as Australia’s first female minister for Foreign Affairs under two Prime Ministers Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull between 2013 and 2018.
She was the deputy leader of the Liberal Party between 2007 and 2018, the latter five years of which the party was in the government. She ran for the party leadership after former Prime Minister Turnbull was deposed in August 2018.
After being eliminated in the first round of the leadership ballot, Bishop resigned as a minister but said she would remain in politics.
Addressing Parliament on Thursday, Bishop said she had reconsidered her future and wanted to pursue a career outside politics.
“It has been an immense honour to be the deputy leader of the Liberal Party, the first female to hold the role, for 11 years, over half my entire political career,” she was cited as saying by ABC News Australia.
“I am also proud that I am the first woman to contest a leadership ballot of the Liberal Party in its 75-year history,” she said.
Bishop said she had come to the view that the incumbent Liberal-National party coalition (LNP) would win the election, clearing the way for her to step away from politics.
“The policy platform that we will take to the next election is crystallising based on the very firm foundations of our unrelenting focus on prudent management of our national finances. It is time for a new member to take my place,” she said.
Paying tribute to Bishop’s “tremendous service to her country”, Morrison said, “Her successor will have big shoes to fill and we know that Julie has the best shoes in Parliament.”
Bishop who worked as a lawyer before entering politics previously served as the Minister for Ageing, Minister for Women and Minister for Education and Science in the latter years of John Howard’s 11 years as Prime Minister.
Turnbull acknowledged Bishop for her “service to our nation and our party and, above all, your friendship over so many years”.
Bill Shorten, leader of the opposition Australian Labour Party, said while they held different political views there was no denying Bishop’s status as a “trailblazer,” describing her announcement as “the end of an era”.