Australia's Prime Minister Morrison announces Cabinet reshuffle, Australia/NZ News & Top Stories

Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrives for Question Time in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrives at Haneda airport in Tokyo, Japan, November 17, 2020.

Christian Porter and Linda Reynolds, who are both now on medical leave, are departing from their senior ministerial positions and are switching to other Cabinet roles in an effort to stabilise the government. Porter strongly denies the claim of the alleged 1988 rape.

Mr Morrison promoted several female lawmakers as part of a broader cabinet reshuffle on Monday.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison's approval ratings fell to the lowest level in a year as his conservative government struggles to contain a backlash over allegations of mistreatment of female MPs and staff, a poll showed on Monday.

Porter, who was the attorney-general, had earlier taken mental health leave after revealing he was the person accused of raping a 16-year-old girl when he was a teenager 33 years ago.

His new role also includes science and technology.

Christian Porter (pictured) is no longer the attorney-general.

"[This] does not change anything in respect of the crucial principle that required me to instigate defamation proceedings", he said in a statement.

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Reynolds has been criticised for her handling of an allegation of rape by a member of her staff two years ago.

Calls to fix accusations of a sexist political culture have swept the nation in recent times.

Ms Higgins, 26, reported the allegation to her then boss - Ms Reynolds - but said she had felt pressure not to report it to police.

Linda Reynolds has been stripped of her Defence Force portfolio, which will now be handled by Peter Dutton. Without her testimony police have said they can not pursue the case.

Mr. Morrison said he was shocked and disgusted by those allegations.

Mr Porter will leave his post as attorney-general to take on Ms Andrews' former role, while Senator Reynolds takes on government services and the NDIS.

"In a spirit of unity, I wish you all a very happy Holi", the Australian Prime Minister said. He added, "I have very capable women operating in very important portfolios". Last week, government MP, Andrew Laming, stepped aside after apologising for harassing and bullying two women online.

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