Liberal Party insiders say Prime Minister Scott Morrison is again bringing his unique political marketing skills to bear in deciding on replacements for two of his cabinet minister as part of a mini-reshuffle forced on him by the multiple sex scandals that have engulfed his government in the past month.
“The PM has once more shown what he’s made of with the moves he’s making to replace Linda Reynolds in the defence portfolio,” the insider said.
“I think I’m perfectly safe in saying that Scott’s rumoured decision to elevate the previously little known backbencher Peta Dutton (main picture) to the defence portfolio is a perfect illustration of the decision-making style we’ve come to expect from the PM.
“Some will see it as a shallow, knee-jerk response that once again rewards a big boofy overbearing bloke and merely papers over the deeper issues of the warped and longstanding gender imbalance within the Liberal Party.
“But others will see it as rewarding an up and coming woman and helping to get more female voices into cabinet. I know which side I’m on,” the Liberal Party source said.
The insider said others in the Liberal Party were waiting on an announcement by Mr Morrison of a replacement for Christian Porter as attorney-general.
“By now, after just a few years as PM and party leader, everyone in the party knows Scott’s style and thought processes so the smart money’s on other up-and-coming young women such as Pauline Fletcher and Roberta Stuart-Robert,” the source said.