Former attorney-general Christian Porter will quit politics and not stand at the next election.
The member for Pearce made the announcement on his Facebook page late on Wednesday afternoon.
“I made the decision that I will not re-contest the seat of Pearce at the next federal election and I have informed the Prime Minister of that decision,” he wrote.
Mr Porter’s announcement came just hours after it was reported that Health Minister Greg Hunt was also expected to quit politics at the looming election.
Mr Porter, also a former minister for industry, was once seen as a future prime minister. However, he quit as attorney-general in March, after he outed himself as the subject of an ABC report alleging an unnamed member of parliament had been accused of a historical rape.
Mr Porter vehemently denied the allegations, and later pursued defamation proceedings against the ABC. However, he also complained that – because the woman at the centre of the rape allegations had died – he could not disprove the claims.
Mr Porter was then moved to the industry portfolio. He later discontinued his defamation action against the ABC.
In September, Mr Porter was forced to resign as industry minister after criticism for accepted funds for his defamation proceedings through what he described as a “blind trust”. Mr Porter said he was unable to detail who had contributed to the fund.
It had been speculated he would quit politics ahead of the 2022 election. His seat of Pearce is marginal, and Labor had expressed some optimism of winning it, especially following scrutiny of Mr Porter’s conduct and a strong result in the Western Australian state election.
In his statement, Mr Porter complained about how he had been treated.
“There are few, if any, constants left in modern politics. Perhaps the only certainty now is that there appears to be no limit to what some will say or allege or do to gain an advantage over a perceived enemy,” he said.
“This makes the harshness that can accompany the privilege of representing people, harder than ever before. But even though I have experienced perhaps more of the harshness of modern politics than most, there are no regrets.”
Mr Porter gave no hint of his future plans, saying only he would spend more time with his family.
“My little boy was born one day before I first became a Commonwealth minister. He and his little sister have never known anything but their father’s regular absence and so the next part of my working life will be anchored around being close to them and being there for them,” he said.
-more to come