Australia parliament votes to censure ex-pm Scott Morrison

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Australia parliament votes to censure ex-pm Scott Morrison

In this file photo dated February 23, 2022, Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks to the media at a press conference in Sydney. STEVEN SAPHORE AFP SYDNEY Australia's parliament on Wednesday voted to sabotage former Liberal prime minister Scott Morrison after an inquiry found his secret appointment to multiple ministries during the COVID 19 epidemic.

Morrison, who lost power in a May general election, secretly accumulated five ministerial positions during the pandemic: health, finance, treasury, resources and home affairs.

The historic motion, brought by the ruling Labor party, passed by 86 votes to 50 in the country's lower house.

It marks the first time a former prime minister has been censured by the parliament, though the motion is symbolic in nature.

Our democracy is precious, and Labor Prime Minister Anthony Albanese spoke in favor of censuring Morrison during the debate.

Morrison said his decisions were lawful, and that the decision was necessary in the event that ministers became incapacitated during the epidemic.

For those who wish to add their judgement on my actions in supporting this censure motion, I simply suggest that they stop and consider: Have you ever had to deal with a crisis where the outlook was completely unknown? Morrison said in parliament before the vote on Wednesday.

In such circumstances, were you able to make all the decisions perfectly right? Morrison said he took secret roles because responsibility was his own.

Morrison said he had only used the powers on one occasion to block BPH Energy's PEP 11 gas exploration project.

He accepted the recommendations of an inquiry into the appointment, including legislation requiring public notice of ministerial appointments.