Former prime minister Scott Morrison will skip the first week of his first Parliament since losing the federal election to instead make an overseas trip to Japan.
Mr Morrison said he accepted the invitation to speak alongside other former world leaders in Tokyo before the new parliamentary schedule was released.
“Prior to the new Government advising the sitting schedule for the remainder of 2022, I had already accepted an invitation to join other former Prime Ministers from Canada, the UK and New Zealand to address an international event to be held in Tokyo this week,” the Member for Cook said in a statement.
“Both the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition were advised of my intended travel and absence from the parliament this week,” he added.
The speaking event comes just days after it was confirmed that Mr Morrison ordered an election-day intervention to release information about the interception of an asylum seeker boat.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Sunday labelled the leak as opportunistic, unprecedented and unprincipled, and said it should never be allowed to happen again.
Mr Morrison’s trip to Tokyo will include a series of meetings with Japanese political and business leaders. He will also express his condolences for the passing of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe.
He confirmed he will take his place on the Opposition backbench for the second week of this sitting of Parliament.
After losing government in May, Mr Morrison maintained he had no immediate plans retire from politics amid speculation he could step aside as the member for Cook.
“I’ve got no plans to go anywhere, I am going back to the Shire and re-establishing our life back there and getting the girls back into their routine,” he told radio station 2GB in May.
Mr Morrison travelled to the South Korean capitol earlier this month to address the Asian Leadership Conference, where he called out China’s “autocratic” leadership and argued the world has not seen such an unstable period in the Indo-Pacific since the 1930s.
Last week he caused controversy with a sermon at a church founded by tennis great turned controversial Pentecostal preacher Margaret Court, where he voiced a distrust for government.
“We trust in Him [God]. We don’t trust in governments. We don’t trust in the United Nations (thank goodness),” he said.