Alan Tudge given strongest indication he will return as Education Minister if Coalition re-elected
Cabinet Minister Alan Tudge has given the strongest indication yet he will return to his former job as education minister if the Coalition wins the May 21 election.
The Liberal MP took leave from that role last year, after his former staffer Rachelle Miller, who he also had a consensual affair with, accused him of being abusive in their relationship.
It emerged earlier in the campaign that Mr Tudge remained a Cabinet minister, despite not being paid as a minister and there being an acting minister covering his portfolio.
Mr Tudge told Sky News he was unaware of the details of that payment and had instead been focusing on his suburban Melbourne electorate.
“I’ve been very busy in my local electorate here, you can see from my social media, and I stood down from being Education Minister some months ago now, for family, for health reasons, and to concentrate on my electorate, and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing,” Mr Tudge said.
“The Prime Minister has made clear that should we be re-elected and I’m in a position to step back up then I will do so”.
Scott Morrison has repeatedly said he expected Mr Tudge would return to Cabinet after the election.
An independent investigation was launched, but no evidence was presented to it that could lead to a finding Mr Tudge had breached the ministerial standards, as they stood at the time of the allegations.
Ms Miller did not take part in that probe, critical of how it had been established and concerned it was framed in a way to protect Mr Tudge.
By political reporter Alexandra Humphries