Julie Bishop, former foreign minister, announces resignation from Parliament

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Former foreign minister Julie Bishop has announced she will retire from federal politics, in a surprise statement after Question Time.

Ms Bishop has been on the backbench since the leadership spill last year.

She has held the Perth electorate of Curtin since 1998 and was Australia’s first female foreign minister.

The Liberal luminary had said she would contest the 2019 election, but told the House of Representatives she had recently reconsidered her future in the Parliament and wanted to pursue a life outside of politics.

“It has been an immense honour to be the longest-serving Member for Curtin and also to be the deputy leader of the Liberal Party, the first female to hold the role, [and] for 11 years, over half my entire political career,” she told the Parliament.

“I am also proud of the fact that I am the first woman to contest a leadership ballot of the Liberal Party in its 75-year history.”

Ms Bishop’s departure is a significant loss for the Coalition as it heads towards an election this year, considering her popularity with the public and her strong fundraising skills for the party.

Ms Bishop served as a minister in John Howard’s government before becoming deputy leader following the 2007 election.

She served in that role in opposition under Brendan Nelson, Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott.

After the party won the 2013 election, she became foreign minister and remained…

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