Donald Trump tweets and greets new Australian PM after week of political chaos

Morrison emerged as the surprise winner of a party-room vote to replace Turnbull after a week of political chaos in Canberra.

Published: 25th August 2018 11:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th August 2018 11:30 AM   |  A+A-

Scott Morrison

Scott Morrison. (Photo | AFP)


SYDNEY: New Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Saturday he had spoken with President Donald Trump and been congratulated by the U.S. leader, who got off to a famously rocky start with former premier Malcolm Turnbull.

Morrison emerged as the surprise winner of a party-room vote to replace Turnbull after a week of political chaos in Canberra that marked the emergence of Australia's sixth prime minister in less than 10 years.

Morrison, the former treasurer under Turnbull, took over as leader of the Liberal Party, the senior partner in the conservative Liberal-National coalition.

The coalition has consistently trailed the opposition Labor party in opinion polls in recent months and must call a new election by May 2019.

Relations between Trump and Turnbull started badly in February 2017 when Trump berated the Australian leader over a bilateral refugee agreement before abruptly ending their telephone conversation, according to a leaked transcript of the call.

Trump described the refugee deal, negotiated by Turnbull and former President Barack Obama, as "dumb".

However, Trump offered Morrison his congratulations on Twitter.

"Congratulations to new Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

There are no greater friends than the United States and Australia!" he wrote.

Morrison in turn said on Twitter he had spoken to Trump.

"Had a great discussion with @realDonaldTrump this morning.

We affirmed the strength of the relationship between the US and Australia," Morrison wrote.

A representative from the prime minister's office said Morrison had invited Trump to visit Australia during what was described as a "warm" conversation.

University of Sydney political analyst Rod Tiffen said he did not expect the personal relationship between the two leaders to affect strategic relations.

"I don't think it will make much difference, America has all the initiative in this relationship," he told Reuters by phone on Saturday.

Morrison set to work on Saturday building a new Cabinet, although the only confirmed change so far is the appointment of his Liberal Party deputy Josh Frydenberg, the former energy minister, as treasurer.

One of his first tasks will be to try to heal a bitterly divided party that has a parliamentary majority of only one seat.

Morrison has ruled out calling an early general election but will face his first electoral test with a by-election for Turnbull's seat in Sydney.

The harbourside electorate has long been regarded as a safe seat for the Liberals.

Morrison's victory marks the chance for a break from a decade of leadership clashes but ideological divisions in the party over issues such as climate change, energy policy, immigration and even globalisation remain stark.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp