Scott Morrison to be sanctioned by attorney general for ‘undermining national security’ after leaking top secret information to journalists
- Former prime minister warned to stop leaking sensitive national security information
- Attorney General Mark Dreyfus sent an angry letter to Scott Morrison on Monday
- Expressing concern over ‘apparent extensive disclosures of cabinet information’
- Requested Morrison not to make any further disclosures about his time in government
Attorney General Mark Dreyfus has fired an angry letter warning former Prime Minister Scott Morrison to stop leaking sensitive national security information.
It comes after former opposition leader turned backbencher recently revealed he had secretly taken on five ministries for political journalists Geoff Chambers and Simon Benson for their book Plagued.
The new book claims to tell the “inside story” of how the former Morrison Coalition government managed the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Morrison also provided sensitive information about the cabinet and national security.
Attorney General and Cabinet Secretary Mark Dreyfus wrote to Mr Morrison on Monday to warn him to stop leaking.
Former Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured with wife Jenny) received an angry letter from the Attorney General on Monday
“I am writing to express your concern at the apparently extensive disclosures of Cabinet information,” wrote Mr Dreyfus.
“Several disclosures appear to have been made contrary to the expectation of discretion with regard to sensitive cabinet discussions.”
The talks include the cabinet disclosure being briefed on the national security implications of Covid-19.
References to classified intelligence briefings were also singled out.
“Revelations of cabinet discussions and deliberations undermine the confidentiality and solidarity of the cabinet,” Dreyfus added.
“I trust there will be no further revelations from your tenure that would undermine national security and the integrity of the cabinet process.”
Meanwhile, a Senate estimation committee learned that at the time Mr. Morrison took on multiple portfolios, the Attorney General was not receiving legal advice from his department on the matter.
Attorney General Mark Dreyfus (pictured) has urged Mr Morrison not to make any further disclosures about his time as Prime Minister undermining national security
The current head of the Attorney General’s Department told parliamentarians she was also unaware that then Solicitor General Christian Porter was giving advice to Mr Morrison.
“Based on inquiries I have made, the department has not provided advice to the then Attorney General on that matter,” Katherine Jones told the commission on Monday.
Mrs. Jones was not the secretary at the time.
An independent investigation into the case is being conducted by former Supreme Court Justice Virginia Bell.
Attorney General and Cabinet Secretary Mark Dreyfus expressed ‘concern’ over Scott Morrison’s recent revelations to journalists Geoff Chambers and Simon Benson ahead of a new book
Mr Morrison has secretly appointed himself to five portfolios – health, finance, treasury and home affairs and energy and resources – between March 2020 and May 2021.
The Solicitor General’s opinion on the legal implications of Mr Morrison’s decision to secretly swear to the Ministry of Resources found his actions “inconsistent” with the responsible government.
Mr Morrison maintains that the oaths were legally correct and necessary to deal with extraordinary circumstances.
But he said the only time he used his extra powers was in the case of a resource project.
AAP has contacted Mr Morrison for comment.
Former Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured in parliament last month with Michaelia Cash) secretly appointed himself to five ministerial portfolios during Australia’s Covid-19 pandemic