Treasurer Scott Morrison to become Australia's next prime minister

Treasurer Scott Morrison to become Australia's next prime minister

Treasurer Scott Morrison to become Australia's next prime minister

Morrison, who was treasurer under outgoing prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, emerged the surprise victor in a three-way challenge for the leadership of the Liberal party brought on by a right-wing rival this week.

The crisis has started to hit the nation's financial markets, with the Australian dollar weakening as much as 1.5 per cent against the USA dollar on Thursday.

US President Donald Trump (pictured) has phoned to congratulate new Australian prime minister Scott Morrison.

Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg is the new deputy prime minister and replaces Julie Bishop.

Although he first entered Parliament in 2007, Mr. Morrison first rose to the public's attention as immigration minister and his introduction of tough asylum seeker policies alongside offshore detention centres for processing illegal arrivals.

The leadership now looms as a battle between Mr Dutton and Treasurer Scott Morrison, who could run if Mr Turnbull steps aside. Morrison left his mark on the role, with three federal budgets that were widely accepted, cementing the economic credentials of the Turnbull government during a period of record jobs growth.

He also said he would work to bring Australia's main conservative party, the Liberals, back together after it had been "bruised and battered this week".

Mr Morrison distanced himself from the turmoil, saying he had not been part of the push led by fellow lawmaker Peter Dutton to oust Mr Turnbull over four chaotic days that was inspired by a feud between hard-right conservatives and moderates.

Bridges also acknowledged outgoing prime minister Malcolm Turnbull for his commitment to the transtasman relationship.

"Many Australians will be shaking their head in disbelief at what's been done", Turnbull said.

Turnbull was forced out after an internal power struggle within the Liberal Party.

Lately, Mr Morrison has thrown his support behind Mr Turnbull, although he's previously expressed interest in the top job after the Prime Minister's poor Newspoll performances.

"The reality is that a minority in the party room supported by others outside the Parliament have sought to bully, intimidate others into making this change of leadership that they're seeking", Turnbull said, in a clear reference to the Murdoch media and the radio talk-back shows.

Deputy opposition leader Tanya Plibersek told Parliament said whoever emerged as prime minister should immediately call an election _ an outcome that some analysts argue is probable.

Turnbull said before the ballot that if he lost the prime ministership he would resign from parliament, leaving the new government facing a by-election for his Sydney seat that could see it lose its one-seat majority.

Morrison came under fire in April from LGBT+ groups after he defended rugby player Israel Folau, who said that gay people would go "to hell unless they repent their sins".

"Australia. We owe you an apology".

Just hours ahead of a potential vote, Turnbull's letter threshold had still not been met, though key Dutton supporters said they were confident the meeting will happen.

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