OUT: Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt has resigned as a minister.
OUT: Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt has resigned as a minister. Alistair Brightman

Pitt's 2018 resignation from cabinet

HINKLER MP Keith Pitt will not serve in Prime Minister Scott Morrison's new cabinet after a shock resignation.

The assistant minister to Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack sent out a press release at 3pm today announcing he had resigned from the role.

In his resignation announcement, Mr Pitt hit out at the Paris Agreement and the Labor Party.

"I have today advised the Deputy Prime Minister and Prime Minister of my decision to resign from the ministry," his statement said.

"It has been a great privilege to serve the Australian people, particularly in a role which delivers much needed infrastructure to the regions," he said.

"However, I will always put the national interest and the interests of my constituents above my own. I will always put reducing power prices, before Paris."

Mr Pitt, who had previously been supportive of former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull as recently as Tuesday, said he was grateful for the opportunity to serve in the outer cabinet.

"I provide my genuine thanks to the leadership for the opportunities I have been provided," he said.

"I look forward to contesting the next election and Scott Morrison and his new executive has my full support.

"A Bill Shorten Labor government will only result in higher taxes, higher power prices and less money in people's pockets."

Earlier in August, The Australian reported Mr Pitt was considering resigning from his position as assistant to the deputy prime minister, in order to cross the floor to vote against an earlier draft of NEG.

Mr Pitt refused to confirm or deny the accuracy of the report to the NewsMail.

During an eventful weekend for Mr Morrison as he pulled together his new cabinet, Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop also resigned from cabinet and former prime minister Tony Abbott was ruled out from a ministry.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, Revenue and Financial Services Minister Kelly O'Dwyer and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, who Mr Morrison defeated for the top job on Friday, will all keep their portfolios.

WA Liberal MP Melissa Price is tipped to be the new environment minister, a portfolio Josh Frydenberg dropped as a result of becoming the deputy Liberal leader and Treasurer.

Mr Pitt was dumped from the ministry in December last year after a falling out with former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce.

He thanked Mr Turnbull and Ms Bishop but pointedly not Mr Joyce for the opportunity to serve as the assistant trade, tourism and investment minister.

Three months later he was back in cabinet after Mr Joyce's demise after his affair with a staffer was exposed, presumably rewarded for his loyalty to Mr Turnbull.

Mr Pitt was originally appointed to the assistant trade, tourism and investment portfolio in July 2016 after the Coalition's nail-biting federal election win.



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