Scott Morrison says Alan Tudge still ‘technically’ in cabinet after stepping aside amid abuse allegations

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Alan Tudge is “technically” still a member of the cabinet and, despite his resignation late last year, is free to return to the role when he’s ready.

But Mr Morrison’s position appears to be at odds with Mr Tudge’s decision earlier this year to leave the cabinet altogether.

Mr Tudge was sidelined in late 2021 when Mr Morrison launched an investigation into claims by one of Mr Tudge’s former staffers that he was emotionally, and once physically, abusive.

He strongly denies the allegations.

The former staffer, Rachelle Miller, and Mr Tudge were having a mutual affair at the time of the alleged behaviour.

The investigation did not reveal Mr Tudge’s breach of ministerial standards, but he decided not to return to the front seat.

†[Mr Tudge] has informed me that, in the interest of his family and his own well-being and to focus on his re-election as an Aston member, he is not seeking to return to the front seat, and I support his decision,” said Mr. Morrison at the time.

This morning Mr Morrison said that while Mr Tudge had not yet returned to Cabinet, his place was still there should he wish to have it back.

“He is now technically a member of our cabinet,” he said.

“He has his portfolio, we have an acting minister in the education portfolio, he is not paid as a minister.”

Morrison said Mr Tudge was still “formally” the minister of education because he still had an “order” from the governor general for the ministerial post.

Stuart Robert is currently Acting Secretary of Education.

“I’m looking forward to him returning because what he’s done in education has been very important,” Morrison said.

Rachelle Miller returned to Parliament House last year to speak out about her allegations. AAP/ Lukas Cocho

The ABC has confirmed that Ms. Miller has reached a settlement with the government that will amount to more than $500,000.

Morrison declined to comment on the payment or confirm the payment, saying it was a “private matter with a sensitive issue”.

Mr Morrison told Channel Nine there was “nothing that would prevent” [Mr Tudge] continue as minister.

He said he would bring his “whole team” to the elections and announce who his health minister would be if the government is re-elected.

Current Health Secretary Greg Hunt announced that he would retire in this year’s election.

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