The Indigenous affairs minister, Nigel Scullion, has announced that he will not recontest the next election, joining frontbenchers Michael Keenan and Kelly O’Dwyer in the list of high profile resignations from the Morrison government.
Scullion announced his decision on Australia Day, while the prime minister, Scott Morrison, was addressing the national citizenship ceremony in Canberra.
Scullion was elected senator for the Northern Territory in 2001 and was the leader of the National party in the Senate.
He has been a cabinet minister and the minister for Indigenous affairs since 2013, holding the position under the Abbott, Turnbull, and Morrison governments, and was minister for community services for the last year of the Howard government.
In a statement, Scullion thanked Morrison and the deputy prime minister, Nationals leader Michael McCormack, for asking him to stay on as Indigenous affairs minister until the election was called.
“It has been my privilege to have served as the minister for Indigenous affairs over the last five years,” he said. “I am grateful that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have welcomed me in every corner of this continent that I have…