Scomo "not ruling out" removing Christian Porter

Scomo "not ruling out" removing Christian Porter

Scott Morrison has admitted he has received advice from the solicitor-general about dumping Attorney-General Christian Porter from the ministry.

The advice given was about what portfolio responsibilities Morrison might need to strip from Porter while Porter sues the ABC for defamation.

Morrison has sought more advice from his department around the attorney-general and ministerial standards.

Labor pressed Morrison on whether he is preparing to make Porter a “part-time minister” or drop him altogether.

Morrison said he wasn't ruling out either option.

“I am considering that advice with my department secretary in terms of the application against the ministerial guidelines,” he told parliament.

“When I have concluded that assessment I will make a determination and I will make an announcement at that time.”

Porter has launched a defamation case against the ABC over a story about rape allegations against a senior minister. He was not named in the story, but Porter's lawyers are arguing he was easily identifiable.

ABC's managing director said that the story in question was of the "highest quality" journalism when he appeared before the Senate.

He warned senators not to ask detailed questions about the case but used his opening statement to defend the ABC.

“I am confident that the journalism was of the highest quality and that this will be borne out in the court proceedings,” Anderson said.

“We will defend the case and our reporting, which we believe is in the public interest,” he added.

“At all times I believe the ABC has acted in accordance with its statutory obligations of impartiality and its charter in its reporting.”

Anderson said the story regarded an anonymous letter sent to senior federal politicians who then forwarded the correspondence to police.

“No reputable media organisation could have ignored the existence of the letter or the fact politicians on both sides of the dispatch box had referred it to police,” he said.

“We did not name or identify the cabinet minister mentioned in the material.

“The attorney-general continues to be entitled to the presumption of innocence and the public broadcaster has reflected this in its reporting.”