Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has told reporters former prime minister Scott Morrison has not indicated he will be leaving parliament soon.
Mr Dutton faced questions about Mr Morrison’s political future amid a report in the Nine newspapers that he could be taking a job in the United Kingdom defence sector.
The Liberal leader at a press conference in Sydney on Tuesday was specifically asked “has Scott Morrison told you he’s resigning from parliament soon?”.
“No he hasn’t. I had dinner with Scott the other night,” Mr Dutton said.
“He’s obviously a distinguished former prime minister of our country and in relation to his own future, that’s a question for him.
“He can make a comment in relation to that at the appropriate time if that’s necessary.”
The job Mr Morrison is reportedly in line for is “in the AUKUS space based out of the UK”, according to a source, and would see him travel to the country about once a month.
Mr Morrison told Nine Newspapers when asked for comment he was “very engaged with things in my local electorate and enjoying being back in my local community”.
Speculation has been rife in recent months that Mr Morrison will leave parliament before the end of the year, triggering another by-election.
Sky News Australia Political Editor Andrew Clennell in March revealed informed sources had said Mr Morrison was planning to quit politics for a consulting job overseas.
Mr Morrison at the time told Sky News Australia he would make an announcement about his future when there was something to say.
He has represented the seat of Cook in Sydney’s south since 2007. Mr Morrison was prime minister from August 2018 until losing the Federal Election last May.
Mr Morrison told Sky News Australia host Sharri Markson in March he found being on the backbench “quite liberating”.
“I had the great privilege of serving in very high offices, not just prime minister, for almost a decade,” the former prime minister said.
“And I can tell you it’s a demanding job – one that I loved doing but one that was also quite exhausting over that length of time.”
Cronulla state Liberal MP Mark Speakman, whose seat is contained almost entirely within Cook, had been rumoured as Mr Morrison’s replacement in federal parliament.
However, Mr Speakman ruled that out when he was elected leader of the New South Wales Liberals after a party room vote in the wake of the state election defeat.
“I won’t be a candidate in any hypothetical by-election in Cook, let me make that clear,” he said last month.
“I am here to serve the public. I could have a comfortable life at the bar but at the end of the day I want to make NSW a better place.”
The Liberal Party has already lost one member from federal parliament this year, Aston MP Alan Tudge. Labor’s Mary Doyle won the subsequent by-election.