Attorney-General won’t return from leave next week

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Attorney-General Christian Porter is not expected to return to parliament next week as he takes leave after publicly and strenuously denying an historical rape allegation.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison today said he had spoken with Mr Porter, who last week confirmed he was the Cabinet minister at the centre of the allegations.

Mr Morrison said Mr Porter hadn’t yet indicated a date he would return but it is expected to be a while longer.

Attorney-General Christian Porter has denied a rape accusation made against him.
Attorney-General Christian Porter has denied an historical rape accusation made against him. (Trevor Collens)

“I’ve spoken to Christian, as have many colleagues in providing their support,” Mr Morrison said.

“And at this stage, he hasn’t advised the date he’s returning.

“I don’t anticipate him to be back in the parliament next week.”

Mr Porter was accused of raping a former debating teammate in 1988 in an anonymous letter sent to the office of Mr Morrison and several federal MPs.

The woman took her own life last year after telling police she no longer wanted to proceed with a formal complaint.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison again rejected calls for an independent inquiry into the allegations against Mr Porter. (Nine)

Mr Morrison again insisted he would not be pursuing an independent inquiry into the allegations against Mr Porter.

“There’s only one rule of law here,” Mr Morrison said.

“And I’m standing firm on that principle of the rule of law.

“I’m not going to indulge in other extrajudicial processes that suggest that one Australian is subject to a different legal process to any other Australian.

“If we do that, we are eroding the very principles of the rule of law in this country.”

The South Australian coroner has asked for further investigation by police before he decides on whether to hold an inquest into the woman’s death.

Michaelia Cash is filling in as acting attorney-general and industrial relations minister in Mr Porter’s absence.